Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here’s what’s weighing on our writers’ minds.
On Thomas Bjorn’s tough decision …
As the calendar heads toward September, it seems the Ryder Cup captain facing the harder choices will be Thomas Bjorn, not Jim Furyk.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson appear destined to be among Furyk’s first three picks announced in a little over a week, while Bryson DeChambeau’s emphatic win makes him a near-lock to join them. Tony Finau, fresh off a runner-up performance in New Jersey, seems like the current clubhouse leader for the fourth and final pick.
But on the European side, Bjorn is facing a situation where a world-class player will have to be left home. Veterans Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson have been outside the qualifying window all year, while Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Rafael Cabrera-Bello all missed chances to supplant Thorbjorn Olesen this week for the final automatic berth.
It’s hard to see Poulter sitting out the matches with several rookies on Europe’s squad, while Casey was lobbied to take back up European Tour membership just for a shot at Paris. But no matter how things shake out in the final week of European qualification, Bjorn is facing a difficult phone call – and probably more than one. – Will Gray
On Jim Furyk’s not-so-tough decision …
Jim Furyk should send Bryson DeChambeau a thank you card, or maybe something more along the lines of a scientific calculator or a slide rule would be more appropriate for the game’s undisputed number cruncher.
DeChambeau’s commanding victory at The Northern Trust makes him an easy choice when Furyk announces three of his four captain’s picks for this year’s Ryder Cup on Sept. 4. The American slipped out of the top 8 automatic qualifiers last month and has a ready-made partner in Tiger Woods, who he plays regular practice rounds with.
Along with Woods and Phil Mickelson, who appear to be locks to be picks as well, Furyk can now allow what is essentially a two-week qualifier to unfold before making his last pick. Who said this captain thing is tough? – Rex Hoggard
On Brooke Henderson’s big win in Canada …
Brooke Henderson will leap back into the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings with her victory Sunday in her Canadian homeland. She will move up from No. 14, possibly as high as No. 7, but she may not be done climbing over players on a run all the way to No. 1.
She is headed to the Cambia Portland Classic this week, where she will be looking to win for the third time this season, which would equal Ariya Jutanugarn and Sung Hyun Park for most victories on tour this year.
Henderson, by the way, has won twice at Portland’s Edgewater Country Club. With the year’s final major next month at Evian, there’s still a lot of time for Henderson to make a run at the Rolex Player of the Year Award. That looked as if it were going to be a two-woman race between Jutanugarn and Park, but not the way Henderson looked Sunday. – Randall Mell