Good Week, Bad Week
Dustin Johnson hits form at the right time
A good week for...
At last all that talent is being unlocked and not only has he leapfrogged Jordan Spieth in the world rankings to second place but after his victory at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational the huge-hitter is now first in the Ryder Cup rankings. Johnson won three out of three points for Davis Love at Medinah four years ago and the US captain will be looking for an even bigger contribution this time around. Johnson is coming into his own.
The Italian breathed fresh life into a Ryder Cup challenge which was starting to seem forlorn after only two top 10s all season. But with a beautifully timed 66 at Le Golf National on Sunday, he has leapt from outside the top 30 to 15th in the standings and, at the very least, will be considered for a wildcard. The French Open offered double points and Molinari grabbed the opportunity. A brilliant ball-striker, European captain Darren Clarke will be delighted.
The 30-year-old from Nuneaton was able to take away plenty of positives from the French Open, despite his treble bogey on the last which saw him tumble from second into fifth. Granted, his visits to the water on that cruel hole cost him the many ranking points which would have gone a long way to confirming his debut at Hazeltine. But you cannot judge a week on one disaster and, looking at the bigger picture, his form looks to have turned the corner.
A bad week for...
A tie for 10th at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational represented a bright spot in a nightmarish few months that brought four missed cuts in seven events. Fowler would have been delighted with his closing 67 at Akron and will pray that his mini-slump is over. However, in terms of the Ryder Cup it still constitutes a bad week, as Fowler fell out of the automatic qualifying berths into ninth place. And that would have seemed barely credible not so very long ago.
Sympathy should be extended to the Irishman as he should never have been put in this position. Lowry felt morally obliged to defend his WGC Bridgestone Invitational title and therefore skip the Ryder Cup points-fest at the French Open. Inevitably, he lost ground in the qualifying race, although will console himself with his 70-68 which moved him up to a tie for 36th. Lowry will fancy his chances of making a big impression at the Open at Troon.
There was little to no chance of Woods declaring himself fit to play at Troon and we should now ready ourselves for the game’s superstar missing the 2016 season. It will not have been easy for him skipping his third major in succession - for the first time in his career - and it will not be easy for him to accept that he will be at Hazeltine as a vice-captain only. Yet he must remain patient and come back when he is ready. The rest of his career depends on it.