Ryder Cup Countdown: Time to start checking points lists

Love hopes he's an automatic qualifier

Countdown to opening matches: 249 days.

I know it’s only January, but if Davis Love III and Jose Maria Olazabal are checking their points lists, so can you.

Thus far, Steve Stricker heads the list for the Americans. Here’s the link to the complete list.

1.  Steve Stricker               1683.075 points
 2.  Keegan Bradley               1647.167
 3.  Johnson Wagner               1590.633
 4.  Mark Wilson                  1170.408
 5.  Jason Dufner                  988.200
 6.  Phil Mickelson                860.964
 7.  Dustin Johnson                802.992
 8.  Robert Garrigus               798.124
 9.  Harrison Frazar               707.724
10.  David Toms                    662.000
11.  Webb Simpson                  610.869
12.  D.A. Points                   496.063
13.  Charles Howell III            484.756
14.  Sean O'Hair                   477.400
15.  Brandt Snedeker               447.883

The top eight on the list automatically qualify, with Love getting four captains picks.

You’ll notice that as of now, the top eight include Johnson Wagner, Jason Dufner, and Robert Garrigus. It doesn’t include Webb Simpson, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and one guy named Tiger Woods.

Woods currently sits 28th on the list. You would think with the way Woods finished 2011, he could easily pull into the top 8. But as we’ve learned, nothing is a given with Woods anymore.

Love obviously is hoping Woods is an automatic qualifier. Otherwise, he will face endless questions about whether he would use one of his captain’s picks on him.

Something to watch as the season unfolds.

As for the Europeans, their process is a bit more complicated. The top five on the points lists automatically qualify. Then they go to a world points list. The top five from that list who haven’t already qualified on the points list get an automatic bid. Olazabal then has two captains picks.

Here are the Euro’s standings

1. Martin Kaymer (Germany)           1284550.37 points
2. Rory McIlroy                      1236326.08
3. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain) 1127185.09
4. Alvaro Quiros (Spain)             1047153.32
5. Sergio Garcia (Spain)              938511.58
6. Paul Lawrie                        794755.17
7. Michael Hoey                       735188.31
8. Joost Luiten (Netherlands)         697221.62
9. Graeme McDowell                    679180.81
  10. Peter Hanson (Sweden)              646533.67
 World points list:
1. McIlroy           137.52 points
2. Luke Donald       133.21
3. Kaymer            110.29
4. Lee Westwood       98.61
5. Fernandez-Castano  94.43
6. Justin Rose        88.13
7. Garcia             80.10
8. Simon Dyson        75.24
9. McDowell           70.26 

10. Quiros             68.19

Team as it stands: Kaymer, McIlroy, Fernandez-Castano, Quiros, Garcia, Donald, Westwood, Rose, Dyson, McDowell (plus two players of the captain’s choice).

Meanwhile, those are on the outside include Padraig Harrington, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Martin Laird, Thomas Bjorn, the Molinari brothers, and Darren Clarke, among others.

That’s a fairly strong crop of players.

As I said, it’s early, but it’s never too early to know where everyone stands.





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