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.