Brooks Koepka back in automatic Ryder Cup spot
February 8, 2021
Brooks Koepka vaulted four spots to No. 3 in the United States Ryder Cup team rankings following his victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The four-time major winner had fallen out of the top six automatic qualifying spots after missing three consecutive cuts for the first time in his PGA Tour career. But Koepka’s Sunday charge at TPC Scottsdale vaulted him from No. 7 to No. 3 in the U.S. standings, behind only Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.
Koepka also climbed one spot to No. 12 in the official world golf rankings.
Johnson remained the clear-cut No. 1 in both rankings following his victory in Abu Dhabi.
In most Ryder Cup years, the top eight players receive automatic berths on the U.S. team. However, that number was reduced to six this year to give Steve Stricker more flexibility with six captain’s picks.
Stricker will make his selections following the 2021 Tour Championship.
Xander Schauffele is fourth in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings following his second consecutive runner-up finish. He is followed by Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa in the top six positions.
Patrick Reed, who won two weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open, dropped one spot to No. 7. Webb Simpson, Tony Finau and Harris English round out the top 10. Finau also has posted consecutive runner-up finishes and has climbed to No. 14 in the world.
Tiger Woods, who remains sidelined following his fifth back procedure, fell another spot to No. 21 in the U.S. Ryder Cup rankings.
The biggest rise this week belonged to Jordan Spieth. He didn’t capture his first victory since 2017, but Spieth’s T4 at TPC Scottsdale vaulted him nine spots to No. 28 in the Ryder Cup rankings and 23 spots to No. 69 in the world rankings.
Will Zalatoris moved inside the world top 50 to No. 49 for the first time in his career with a T17 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The Tour rookie is playing on a Special Temporary Membership for the remainder of the 2020-21 season after a strong fall swing.
Zalatoris has six top-20 finishes in eight events, beginning with a T6 at the U.S. Open. He is now only two spots behind Woods in the world rankings.
(Field Level Media)