America’s Elite Eight
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Championship

Consolation prize for Tiger...?

The PGA Championship wasn’t just “Glory’s Last Shot” to win a major, it was also the last tournament to earn points and clinch an automatic berth for the Ryder Cup. I think the (added) pressure definitely got to a few of the guys. I’m betting it was weighing on Hunter Mahan, who missed the cut. Look what Bo Van Pelt did the last few holes — he bogeyed three of the last five. U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III probably wasn’t too impressed…

Outside of Steve Stricker who finished T7, none of the American Bubble Boys did anything outstanding. In Love’s press conference on Wednesday, he basically said Stricker was a lock because we happen to have a guy who “likes playing with him,” aka Tiger Woods.

Phil Mickelson had a promising start. He somehow managed to be at even-par through 36 holes. Considering that every time the telecast showed Phil, he was in the beach grass or a sandy area or some kind of trouble, it was very impressive, not to mention the almost unplayable conditions on Friday. Phil was one of the only four players that broke par in the second round. Well, then came the weekend and Phil faded away. He finished T36.

Heading into the week, he was ranked eighth in points with a slim lead over Mahan. So after Mahan MC’d, Phil was nearly a sure thing to make it in points.

So, the top eight didn’t change. No one unseated anyone. Well, Bubba Watson and Jason Dufner flipped spots.

Without further ado, here are the players who have earned berths on the 2012 American Ryder Cup team:

Tiger Woods (It will be his seventh Ryder Cup)

Bubba Watson (It will be his second straight Ryder Cup)

Jason Dufner (Ryder Cup debut)

Keegan Bradley (Ryder Cup debut)

Webb Simpson (Ryder Cup debut)

Zach Johnson (It will be his third Ryder Cup)

Matt Kuchar (It will be his second straight Ryder Cup)

Phil Mickelson (It will be his ninth straight Ryder Cup appearance, which sets the U.S. Team record for most consecutive appearances, and most all-time appearances)


Others will have some butt-kissing to do over the next three weeks…Just kidding. Kind of. No, Stricker is a lock. I’m guessing so are Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk. Question is now who does Captain Love take for his fourth wildcard pick? Tough call between Rickie Fowler and Brandt Snedeker, in my opinion.

If you’re DL3, which four do you pick?

Love will officially select the final four members of the Team on Sept. 4, and the 39th Ryder Cup will take place Sept. 28-30 at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club. He’s scheduled for a press conference at the media hotel at 9am on Monday.

 (Getty Images/Ross Kinnaird)