ST. LOUIS — The top eight automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team won’t be finalized until after Sunday’s final round at the PGA Championship, but the picture became a little clearer following the completion of the second round on Saturday morning at Bellerive.
For the first time since 1993, Phil Mickelson won’t qualify for the American team after rounds of 73-71 caused him to missed the PGA cut by four strokes. Mickelson, who came into the week 10th in the standings and has played on every team since 1995, will need a captain’s pick from Jim Furyk to keep the streak alive.
He’s not alone.
Bryson DeChambeau, who was ninth on the points list at the start of the week, bogeyed three of his last six holes Saturday morning to shoot 70 and miss the cut by a stroke. Matt Kuchar (11th in points) and Kyle Stanley (14th) also failed to advance to the final two rounds.
Conversely, Kevin Kisner, who is a stroke off the lead at nine under after two rounds, stands to move up from the 15th spot.
So do Tony Finau (13th) and Xander Schauffele (11th), both of whom played alongside Furyk for the first two rounds. After struggling to a 74 in the opening round, Finau bounced back in a big way with 10 birdies en route to a 66 to make the cut on the number. Schauffele played even better over the two days, shooting 70-67 to get to three under. He’s tied for 24th, seven strokes off the lead.
Another player helping his cause so far is Webb Simpson. Clinging to the eighth spot on the points list entering the week, the Players Championship winner carded a pair of 68s to leave him six off the lead through 36 holes and in good shape to remain inside the top eight.
Furyk will announce three of his captain’s picks following the second FedEx Cup Playoff event, the Dell Technologies Championship over Labor Day weekend. The final pick will come the following week after the BMW Championship.