Sport : Golf

Americans set for Ryder Cup chase

9th August 2012, 07:52am

Phil Mickelson: Ryder Cup spot under threat

Phil Mickelson: Ryder Cup spot under threat

No fewer than 28 Americans will start the USPGA Championship with a shot at qualifying for the Ryder Cup team.

Phil Mickelson is the man in the hot seat of eighth on the United States points list entering their final counting event at Kiawah Island. Captain Davis Love also has four wild-card picks.

The number of those looking to climb into Love's side could have been 29, but Ben Crane has pulled out with a back injury - a withdrawal which means the event is not the first in golf history to feature the entire world's top 100.

Matt Every, who has never won a PGA Tour title, is the one who might make the biggest leap. He currently stands 37th on the table with 1,275 points, but there are 2,890 - two points for every US$1,000 earned - on offer to Sunday's winner.

Only points-leader Tiger Woods is mathematically certain to be part of Love's team with four rounds to play, but Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson should have done enough already.

Then come Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Mickelson, separated by fewer than 300 points, while Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk are best-placed to move into the top eight.

Love will hand out his wild cards on September 4. If things do not change this weekend Mahan, Stricker and Furyk look strong favourites to be chosen and after that it seems a battle between Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker.

Europe's points race goes on until August 26, but for many of their candidates the USPGA is also their last chance to gather points.

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