CRAWFORD | Thomas threatens, but Woods, Koepka capture PGA spotlight

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka is bidding to become the first player to claim a US Open and US PGA double since 2000

US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk unveiled the first eight members of his squad Monday, with the potential of a captain's pick remaining to add Tiger Woods to the lineup.

Justin Thomas, who won the PGA Championship past year, is also in contention during the final round of play.

That leaves four captain's selections up for grabs, which Furyk will hand out next month.

Including by absorbing the experience with Woods in a tournament that left them sharing something else besides 18 holes: a future that suddenly looks more promising for each - and one in particular that the golf world craves. Following Sunday's action, four other players earned enough points to round out the automatic qualifiers: Bubba Watson, even though he missed the cut at Bellerive; Jordan Spieth; Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.

Captain Jim Furyk will pick four others - three on September 3 and the final choice on September 9.

"A lot of frustration, honestly", he said. "And then Brooks hit it very close on 16 after making his on 15, and I was kind of up against it from there".

As we discussed in this week's Golf Digest Podcast, there's nothing like a major with Tiger Woods in contention.

Europe's Ryder Cup stars will hope Koepka is as accommodating when he lines up for the US team in France next month.

I did have a small bet on Francesco Molinari at [100.0] in-running last night and I backed both Scot and Woods at huge prices with a couple of holes to play, just in case something freaky happened but prior to that, the end was a bit nerve-wracking as I didn't back Scott or Woods early on.

Speaking after his third-round 66, Woods admitted the delay in play over the course of the weekend has taken it's toll on him. Brooks was the 12th victor in-a-row to have finished inside the top-28 at Firestone the week before and he was the 17th victor in 20 years to have already won earlier in the season.

More news: Indiana reports 1st human West Nile virus case of 2018

"[To] look back where I was a couple months ago, four months ago, is incredible". Really what we wanted to talk about today was the top eight players.

However, he reminded the entire golfing world that he's the G.O.A.T for a reason, sending the fans into a frenzy with a final-round 64 to finish in second behind Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship.

"I think the word he used is 'trending.' His game is trending", Furyk said with a smile.

Woods provided the thrills Sunday - a fist-pumping, club-slamming, roller-coaster ride of a final round in which he threatened from beginning to end but couldn't knock Koepka out of the lead, or deny him the trophy. When they made runs, it got loud.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk formally announces the eight automatic qualifiers for America's Ryder Cup team - Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson.

He, too, was a catalyst in changing the culture of the U.S. Ryder Cup process, helping to initiate that "task force" that has shaped the cultivation of captains.

It is a remarkable run for a player who has lived most of his golfing life somewhat below the radar.

Woods birdies the 12th and he's now just two shots behind Koepka!

"You want guys that are in good form, say, from the summertime on", said Furyk, who is set to announce three at-large picks September 3, with the fourth and last name to be revealed September 9.

The eight who made the team already make natural partnerships.

Latest News