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Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau's closest challenger for the final U.S. Ryder Cup spot, thinks Tony Finau deserves it

September 07, 2018

Keyur Khamar

Is Tony Finau a lock to get the fourth and final U.S. Ryder Cup captain’s pick? There are many who are convinced that little can happen at this week’s BMW Championship that would keep Jim Furyk from calling Finau’s name on Monday morning when he reveals the last member of the American team.

Among those “many” include the guy considered the next closest challenger to Finau: Xander Schauffele.

“I feel like I need a win,” said Schauffele when asked about his Ryder Cup chances on Thursday after shooting a seven-under 63 to end the round tied for third. “Might not be enough. Tony is an ATM or top-10 machine, you know. He’s been killing it and playing great golf. I feel like if I were Jim right now, I would pick him, to be completely honest. I could win and he could finish in second or third and, you know, I’d be happy with my win and wouldn't be disappointed with the year.”

Finau shot a 68 on Thursday to end the day tied for 30th place.

While Schauffele has the Ryder Cup on his mind, there is another immediate goal at stake this week at Aronimink Golf Club. The defending Tour Championship winner started the tournament in 41st place on the FedEx Cup points list, which means he needs a good performance at the BMW to move into the top 30 and qualify to defend his Tour Championship title in two weeks at East Lake. Since the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs in 2007, only three golfers who won the Tour Championship qualified to play in the tournament the next year: Phil Mickelson (2009), Brandt Snedeker (2012) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

“Yeah, it's hard,” Schauffele said. “You know, I think the stats are out whoever won the Tour Championship never made it back the next year. There's a reason for that. It's hard. It's just tricky.”