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Watson, Johnson make first Ryder Cup team
Question of the Day
SHEBOYGAN, WIS. (AP) - The disappointment of his playoff loss in the PGA Championship didn’t last long for Bubba Watson on Sunday.
He’s taking his booming drives to the Ryder Cup.
The question now is whether he will have Tiger Woods as one of his teammates.
Watson, who was 18th in the U.S. standings going into the final qualifying tournament, moved up to No. 3 with his runner-up finish at Whistling Straits to be one of eight Americans qualifying for the team.
“I made the Ryder Cup. So that’s all I care about,” Watson said.
Dustin Johnson, whose two-stroke penalty on a bizarre bunker ruling knocked him out of the playoff, tied for fifth and also secured a spot on the team.
Phil Mickelson led the standings for the first time in his career, followed by Hunter Mahan, Watson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Jeff Overton and Matt Kuchar, who nailed down the final spot when he tied for 10th at the PGA Championship.
Turns out Woods needed to finish at least in the top five to make the team. He opened with two birdies, but after a miserable stretch around the turn _ he dropped four shots in three holes _ he shot 73 and tied for 28th. Woods wound up 12th in the standings and will need to be picked by U.S. captain Corey Pavin to make the team.
“I feel like my game is a lot better than it was last week, and given a little bit more time, it’s starting to head in the right direction now, which is good,” Woods said. “And I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, Corey will pick me on the team.”
Watson was one of four Americans who have never played in the Ryder Cup. Neither has Johnson, while Overton became the first American to make the Ryder Cup team without ever having won a PGA Tour event.
Last time, Oliver Wilson of England made the European side without ever having won as a pro. He still hasn’t.
Kuchar bumped out Anthony Kim, the star of the U.S. victory at Valhalla two years ago. He looked like a lock until thumb surgery three months ago. Kim only returned to the PGA Tour last week at Firestone. He was sixth in the standings, but with double points available in the final major, was passed by Watson, Johnson and Kuchar.
Lucas Glover, who was No. 8 in the standings before the week began, missed the cut at Whistling Straits.
The focus now shifts to those who did not make the team, starting with Woods.
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