Good Week, Bad Week
As Hazeltine draws near, who has had a good week?
A good week for...
It does without saying that Walker rather enjoyed winning his first major. But this breakthrough brought more than just the Wanamaker Trophy. He leapt from 29th to fourth in the Ryder Cup standings and made himself a lock to make a second appearance in the match. Impressed on his debut at Gleneagles two years ago, Davis Love will be delighted to have the 37-year-old.
Finished fourth and by doing so jumped from ninth to fifth in the standings. But those bald facts do not begin to do his effort justice. Suffering from a painful foot complaint, Koepka refused to pull out and instead actually overcame a month-long absence to contend. Not only did he show Love the quality but the class and to him to be absent is now almost unthinkable.
A month ago, he was not even in the top 35 in the standings and was not even an afterthought. But now after a second at the Scottish Open, a fifth at the Open and a 10th at the USPGA he is up to 14th and making Darren Clarke sit up and take notice. The 24-year-old from High Wycombe will be looking to reinforce his credentials yet further at this week’s Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour.
A bad week for...
How on earth has a player of the quality of Bubba Watson fallen out of the top eight on the US Ryder Cup standings who will qualify automatically? In truth he has not played well since winning and finishing second in March. Finished 60th at the USPGA and does not appear happy with his game. Will surely be picked if he does not re-enter the automatic berths, but Love will want at least some form.
Is the only European top have qualified by right for the last four matches but after missing the cut at Baltusrol seemed resigned to missing out this time. “I wouldn’t pick me at the moment,” he said and it is hard to disagree with the Ulsterman, despite his many qualities as a matchplay exponent. Is out of form and does not trust his swing. He has two last chances to impress Clarke.
The Irishman looked devastated to be departing early at the USPGA and with good reason. Seemed a certainty after winning the WGC Bridgestone Invitational last year and then, after a muddling patch, looked assured again when finishing second at the US Open in June. But has missed three cuts in succession and is desperate to give Clarke some reason for a wildcard in the next four weeks.