Xander Schauffele bumps Brooks Koepka as 6 qualify for U.S. Ryder Cup team
Half of the U.S. Ryder Cup team is locked.
The conclusion of the BMW Championship marked the end of official qualifying for the U.S. team. Six players have now punched their ticket to Rome, Italy, while U.S. captain Zach Johnson will make six picks following next week’s Tour Championship.
Scottie Scheffler and Wyndham Clark secured the U.S. team’s first two spots weeks ago. Now officially following them in the U.S. standings are Champion Golfer of the Year Brian Harman, who claimed a spot on his first U.S. team with a T-5 at the BMW, and 2021 Ryder Cupper Patrick Cantlay, who placed T-15 at Olympia Fields.
Max Homa will make his maiden appearance in the biennial matches, taking the fifth spot in the rankings. The 32-year-old won at Torrey Pines in January but slid outside the top six during the summer months. He re-entered it, though, with a T-6 in last week’s playoff opener and then accomplished his mission with a T-5 in Chicago.
“That’s been kind of my goal since these playoffs started, to get into that top six,” Homa said after second-round 62 at Olympia Fields. “All that obviously takes some great golf. You’re playing against a lot of great players. It has been fun keeping that goal in mind because you’re competing against the best Americans, which is a tall task.”
Rounding out the automatic qualifiers is Xander Schauffele. The 29-year-old posted his tenth top-10 of the season at the BMW with a T-8, jumping one spot in the standings.
“You don’t really want to sit around and wait for the phone call,” Schauffele, a 2021 Ryder Cupper, said Sunday. “Been on both sides of it, to be completely honest, for a Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup team. I can’t remember which one was a pick, which one was not. But I remember getting a call saying no and a call saying yes. It’s nice to automatically qualify.”
Schauffele’s move into the top six bumped Brooks Koepka out, which means the PGA Championship winner, who plays on the LIV Golf tour, must now rely on a captain’s pick on Aug. 29. Schauffele edged Koepka in the standings by 29 points.
Jordan Spieth made the Tour Championship by a hair, sitting 29th in the FedExCup standings, but he would have needed a three-way tie for fourth or better at the BMW to jump into the top six of the Ryder Cup standings. He tied for 34th and is now eighth in points.
Other players who have one more chance to impress Captain Johnson at East Lake include: Collin Morikawa (No. 10 in Ryder Cup points), Keegan Bradley (No. 11), Sam Burns (No. 12), Rickie Fowler (No. 13) and Lucas Glover (No. 16).
No. 9 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, Cam Young, No. 14 Denny McCarthy and No. 15 Justin Thomas did not qualify for the Tour Championship. Thomas did not make the playoffs and the other two ended their seasons on Sunday.