Ryder Cup postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19
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Patrick Reed could be forced to miss next month’s Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits after the golfer was hospitalised with bilateral pneumonia this week.
Reed’s illness means he is now unable to play in this week’s second FedEx Cup play-off event at the BMW Championship, which would have been his last chance to earn points in the US Ryder Cup rankings, and secure an automatic spot in Steve Stricker’s side.
However, after also missing both the Wyndham Championship last week’s and the FedEx Cup play-off opener at the Northern Trust, the American once again missed out on important Ryder Cup points leaving him unable to qualify automatically after this week’s withdrawal.
The 2018 Masters champion will now be reliant on being one of the six wildcard picks by Captain Stricker, which will make up the 12-man squad after six players qualify automatically via the standings.
With just one qualifying week to go, five of the automatic six spots have already been secured, as Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson were the first to qualify following the Wyndham Championship, before Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas joined them after the performances in New Jersey last week.
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The remaining spot is currently held by Northern Trust winner Tony Finau, however the play-off winner faces stern competition from the likes of Olympic champion Xander Schauffele and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth.
The six automatic US spots are no doubt lucrative ones, with some of the biggest names in golf battling throughout the qualifying campaign to try and cement their place, meaning a number of the Tour’s in-form stars will also be reliant on a wildcard pick alongside Reed.
Two of Finau, Schauffele and Spieth will also be forced to rely on the choice of Stricker, and in that talented group of three alone, two have found themselves in the winners’ circle throughout the past month in Schauffele (Olympics) and Finau (Northern Trust).
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The star-studded, unqualified list does not end there with the likes of Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, Daniel Berger and Billy Horschel also winners on Tour this year, and all gunning for place in their captain’s wildcard selections.
As well as hot competition from America’s in-form men, Stricker will also no doubt be equating the idea of including some rich Ryder Cup experience within his side, and with the likes of Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and 12-time Ryder Cup player Phil Mickelson a long way from the final automatic spot, Reed also faces fierce competition for a spot on that front.
It is yet to be known as to whether the the 31-year-old will even be healthy enough to compete in the biennial event in Wisconsin due to his ongoing health problems, and with plenty of other fully fit candidates also waiting for the captain’s call it would be no surprise to see Reed miss the cut come team announcement time.
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