PGA Championship Ends Automatic Qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team
Because of the new and much-improved selection process for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, eight golfers will automatically qualify for the event to be played in 6 weeks time, September 19-21. Six players have already locked down their spots. Stewart Cink, Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim and Justin Leonard will be playing at Valhalla. Two more will do so this week. So, we have a tournament within a tournament.
As this week is a Major Championship, points – equaling $1,000 of earnings – are doubled. If a long shot were to win, a la Shaun Micheel in 2003, they will be on the team. Excluding that unlikely scenario, both players currently in the 7th and 8th spots could still easily get displaced. Those 2 players are Boo Weekley and Steve Stricker, respectively. They are in a virtual tie, only separated by 24 points ($12,000 of earnings this week). If both were to have a high finish, it would be nearly impossible for anyone to pass them without actually winning the PGA Championship. And even if they don’t finish high, every dollar they earn just makes it that much more difficult to be passed. But should either or both miss the cut, look out. The sharks are circling.
Woody Austin is currently in the 9th position, and would need only a top 15 finish to jump into the 7th position. Hunter Mahan and D.J. Trahan could do likewise with a top 12 effort. Rocco Mediate, Sean O’Hair, Zach Johnson and Brandt Snedeker would have to get into the top 10 and everybody else would require at least a top 5 finish.
Happy hunting, fellas.
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- are you a closet Euro?
I would still like Holmes to make it - QS, Kentucky and all that. I hadn't heard he was a slow player before this week, but maybe that could be used to advantage. His driving should certainly be intimidating.
Would like Austin, Mediate & Boo to add some fun for the team (although all fiercely competitive) plus O'Hair. Not Zach, nice as he is, or Mahan, honest as he is.
Shaun Micheel observation.
There were 44 comments on this and not ONE agreed with him. (Cynics note, no, they weren't Europeans). I liked the one that said "It's now like the European team - 12 Apostles and no Jesus".
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