Lowry gains in Fedex Cup race, Woods shoots up rankings


Thomas Pieters hopes he has forced his way into the reckoning for a Ryder Cup wildcard after his strong performance in the US PGA Championship.

Koepka may have lifted the trophy, but Woods equalled the lowest round of the day with a 64 which was achieved despite not hitting a single fairway on the front nine. Behind him, Koepka holed his two birdie putts.

He also said an ability to cope with what is likely to be a boisterous European crowd would be key, alongside a suitability for Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National. "It will be nine years before another major championship comes back into the market". He is close to Woods, who in his other role as a vice captain will surely be pushing his case.

Woods was playing for his 15th major championship - and his first since 2008.

That seems a long time ago, with Woods posting five top-sixes since. "What is important is how well Tiger has played", Furyk said.

As it stands, Italy's Francesco Molinari, victor of The Open, now tops the Team Europe Ryder Cup points list, followed by English trio Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood. The word he used is "trending".

It's a pity because take him back to the way he drove the ball around the turn of the century (with a short, heavy steel shafted club and a reasonable sized head) and he would still be far and away the best player in the game. I am really excited about the way he is playing. "Scotty played unbelievably well and so did Tiger".

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The 30-year-old has worn the arm-band for the Catalan giants on numerous occasions before he was named vice-captain since 2015. Usually a two-legged affair, the match will be settled after just one for the first time on Sunday.

Sitting on a couch watching the Masters on television with an injured left wrist, Koepka had never dreamed he would win two Majors this year, much less battle his boyhood idols.

Furyk said he would be meeting with his vice captains frequently over the next few weeks, and planned to attend two of the FedEx Cup playoff events for meetings and dinners with players already on the team, who also will have some input. "So he's priceless, to be honest with you. We want the players who are going to help us be successful". I think it's been a big boost having the best player maybe to ever live following your group and being there for support. Furyk wouldn't say yes and danced around the question, but his answer strongly hinted that Woods would be on the team as a player.

Furyk was supposed to be in the media centre at Bellerive discussing the players who qualified automatically.

Webb Simpson was on the shakiest ground heading into the weekend, holding down the final spot.

Koepka said that just as his major victories on vastly different courses showed, he was up for any challenge.

But as brilliant as the 28-year-old was and is, it was inevitably Woods's resurrection that created the biggest stir. With Davis Love serving as a captain twice and Stricker being our Presidents Cup captain previous year, they intimately know these players and know them very well.

However, Faldo was shocked. However, the most important figure may well be Woods.

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Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April a year ago and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence the following month when he was found asleep at the wheel of his auto.

"It's been a decade since the guy's won a major championship, and the crowd was totally into it right from the get-go", Golfweek senior writer David Dusek said on Ferrall on the Bench. He is done, doomed and then suddenly he is two under par.

Winning a 15th major would be a fairytale way to seal one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history and recent form suggests he could well be in contention again in 2019. Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson were a couple of the great ones who didn't win it when it was the final leg of their personal grand slams. He now knows he can win again.

The eight European automatic Ryder Cup qualifiers won't be known until September 2.

The sixth and 10th holes played as the joint toughest in the final round, the par-three sixth to an average of 3.35 and the par-four 10th to an average of 4.35.

They include the top three in the world rankings - Dustin Johnson, Koepka and Justin Thomas, and all eight are ranked among the world's leading 20 players.

"I'm sure most people think that is very un-entertaining, and very blah on the golf course", he said.

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