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Thomas Bjorn withdraws from PGA Championship with back injury

11 August, 2018, 11:11 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • Bryson DeChambeau Ryder Cup

Four-time major victor Rory McIlroy, third-ranked Justin Rose and British Open champion Francesco Molinari are likely to be European stalwarts once the side is finalised in early September.

Olesen is now just outside the eight automatic spots on fellow Dane Thomas Bjorn's team after closing with a 64 to finish joint-third behind Justin Thomas in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
on Sunday.

"He is a world class player, the type of player who can turn it around in a week or two", Bjorn stated.

As it stands now, the top eight are: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson. "It's all right in front of you".

Three-time major victor Jordan Spieth, who would complete a career Grand Slam with victory this week, and Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion, likely have enough points to hold off rivals and make the September 28-30 matches.

Woods, who missed all of last season while rivals scored points, has jumped to 20th on the Cup qualifying list with only the PGA remaining before the top eight players qualify.

Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau are next on the points list and USA captain Jim Furyk is conveniently paired with Finau and Schauffele for the first and second round this week as he ponders four captain's picks to be made in early September.

One player certain to be in the Europe team is Francesco Molinari, who so memorably claimed the Open Championship title at Carnoustie last month. "I've been part of Ryder Cups since 1997 and I've not gone into a Ryder Cup where the United States don't have a great team.

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Alex Noren won in Paris on the Ryder Cup golf course.

"It's no secret, we're trying to provide the best 12 players we can". "It's a good place to be and being among the players and being in that locker room and being in the dining area and just chatting to people, and then once the gun goes on Thursday, we'll go out and try and give it a go". "That's going to be a key".

But the 42-year-old has displayed an increasing commitment to team events as he has aged, and as next year's Presidents Cup captain and no doubt a future Ryder Cup captain, his experience could be invaluable.

Woods, set to be an assistant captain alongside Love in September's showdown with Europe at France's Le Golf National, must win the Wanamaker trophy for a record-tying fifth time to earn a berth on the U.S. squad on points.

"It's been fun watching him play this summer", Furyk said. "It's hard to say Tiger Woods was never on the radar, but it's nice to see him play well".

Europe's lineup at the moment would feature four-time major victor Rory McIlroy, British Open champion Francesco Molinari of Italy, Spain's Jon Rahm, Sweden's Alex Noren and England's Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey.

European captain Thomas Bjorn has been encouraged by some strong play from his players the past few months.



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