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August 2012 Archives

Eight players qualify for U.S. Ryder Cup team

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Jose Maria Olazabal, the captain of the European Ryder Cup team, has plenty of respect for the U.S. side.

"Obviously, the top eight, if you look at the way they've been playing, you realize they are strong players," he said. "Very good players." 

But, Olazabal opted to highlight some of the players who didn't secure a spot, noting the experience and form of players such as Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and others, who are vying for four of Davis Love III's four captain's picks. 

"You realize they have experience, they've proven they can putt under pressure, and they have all the respect," Olazabal said. "They will be great assets to the team."

Automatically qualifying on Sunday for the U.S. were Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson. 

Those are strong players, although Mickelson has struggled for much of the season and especially of late. The European team's top 10 players will be decided later this month, then Olazabal will pick two more players. 

The Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club will be played Sept. 28-30.

The final major of the year begins Thursday, when the PGA Championship commences at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

Aside from a player clinching a major, Americans have a lot riding on the line: the top eight players in the U.S. points system will be named to the Ryder Cup team Sunday. Then, in September, U.S. Captain Davis Love III will select the final four members of his squad.

Currently, the top eight are as follow: Tiger Woods, Jason Duffner, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson. 

Woods, though, is the only one who has officially earned a spot, regardless of his performance this weekend.

Hunter Mahan is ninth, followed by Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson and Bo Van Pelt. 

"I know there's several guys that are working really hard to try to make the team," Love said. "So hopefully, they will relax and just play the PGA this week and work their way in. But our team is shaping up very well."

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