Ryder Cup 36 Hole Bubble Clock: BMW Championship

Halfway through the BMW Championship, the Ryder Cup picture is starting to become clearer.

After the Championships at Olympia Fields this week, the top six in the US Ryder Cup rankings will automatically qualify for Team USA (Scottie Scheffler and Wyndham Clark have already claimed the top two spots). And so far, many players who entered BMW on the Ryder Cup bubble have made strides toward earning a trip to Rome.

Let’s take a look at several players vying for a spot on Team USA and what they need to do over the next 36 holes at Olympia Fields to qualify.

Max Homa
BMW Championship Position: Solo leader (10 down)
Ryder Cup ranking: 6
A result is required to secure a place in the top 6: Runners-up (any ties)

At the FedEx Championship St. Jude last week, Homa moved into an automatic qualifying spot by placing T-6, his best finish since The Players Championship. He looks set to stay there after setting the Olympia Fields course record with a second-round 62 that included 10 birdies. If the 32-year-old can hold on for his third win of the season or stay near the top of the leaderboard, he will be heading to his first Ryder Cup.

And that would fulfill a promise he had with American Captain Zach Johnson.

“I told Zach last year that I was kissing him, but then he also said, ‘Well, I wish I didn’t have to choose you,’ and I said, ‘OK, that’s my promise,'” Homa said Friday. .

“I’ll try to get an automatic. That would be really cool. That’s been my goal since these playoffs started, to get into that top 6. All of that obviously requires great golf. You play against a lot of great players. It was fun to keep that goal, though, because you’re competing against the best Americans, which is a big task.”

BMW Championship - Round 2

Chris Kirk
BMW Championship Standings: Solo Second (8-under)
Ryder Cup ranking: 24
Minimum Result Required: Win

Kirk wouldn’t jump into the top six with a win, however, if he were to pick up his second win of the year this week, he could very well take one of the six leaders to come after next week’s Tour Championship. At the Honda Classic, Kirk ended a 2,836-day winless drought, but has only one top-10 since. If he can continue to ride his iron play (ranked first in Strokes Gained: Approach so far this week) to a win, he could potentially send himself to Rome regardless of whether he fails to claim a spot in the top six.

GOLF: AUGUST 18 PGA - BMW Championship

Brian Harman
BMW Championship Position: T-3 (7 down)
Ryder Cup Ranking: 4
Minimum score required: Top 20

Due to his maiden major win last month at The Open Championship, Harman is currently in the top 6. However, there are a few scenarios in which he could give up. He could finish outside the top 20. if there is a two-way tie for second between Homa and Schauffele; or if Jordan Spieth, Cam Young, Colin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley, Sam Burns or Rickie Fowler win. Fortunately for Harman, he is in control of his own destiny, three moves away from the lead as the 36-year-old tries to earn a spot on his first Ryder Cup team.

GOLF: AUGUST 18 PGA - BMW Championship

Rickie Fowler
BMW Championship Position: T-5 (5 down)
Ryder Cup ranking: 13
Minimum result required to enter the top six: Solo runner-up

After ending a 1,610-day winless drought at July’s Rocket Mortgage Classic — Fowler finished T-42-T-23-T-28. He seems to have turned a corner this week, but still five strokes off the lead, Fowler will need to come from behind for the win. However, if victory doesn’t come, a strong finish – which the four-time Ryder Cupper is currently projecting – could go a long way with one of Johnson’s six captains.

BMW Championship - Round 2

Xander Schauffele
BMW Championship Position: T-10 (4 down)
Ryder Cup Ranking: 7
Minimum score required to enter the top six: Two-way T-43

It would be a shock if the 2020 Olympic gold medalist is not in Rome, despite being winless a year after three. He is fifth on Tour this season in top-10s (nine) and in first place through 36 holes to capture his 10th this week. He only needs to move up one spot in the US rankings to solidify his spot in the Ryder Cup a week early. And if he can manage a second solo at Olympia Fields, he’ll be locked into the top 6 without any help.

BMW Championship - Round 1

Colin Morikawa
BMW Championship Position: T-13 (3 down)
Ryder Cup ranking: 10
Minimum result required to enter the top six: T-2 triathlon

Olympia Fields is a ball-striking golf course, so he is in the mix for his first win since the 2021 Open Championship. The two-time major champion dropped four places in the rankings following a 67-70 opening second round. But Morikawa excels on difficult golf courses against the world’s best players — and if he can hit the ball, he’ll be back on the leaderboard this weekend, he can erase any doubt that he will in Rome in September.

GOLF: AUGUST 18 PGA - BMW Championship

Lucas Glover
BMW Championship Position: T-13 (3 down)
Ryder Cup ranking: 16
Minimum result required to enter the top six: Win

The player everyone has their eyes on. It will take some heavy lifting this weekend to notch his third win in as many weeks, but Glover is still in contention – and second in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach – further proving he deserves a spot on the US team. Last week, many in the golf world argued that the 43-year-old would earn a spot on his first Ryder Cup team and if he can use his second-round 67 (his 22nd round of 60 in his last 24 tour starts) as the momentum heading into the final two rounds, it will be tough for Johnson to leave Glover off Team USA — even if he doesn’t chase the leaders over the next two days.

BMW Championship - Round 1

Jordan Spieth
BMW Championship Position: T-21 (2 down)
Ryder Cup Ranking: 8
Minimum result required to get into the top six: Three-way T-4

Considering he’s amassed 9.5 points in 18 games for the US in the last four Ryder Cups, he’s a near-certainty for Johnson’s team. A T-6 last week at Memphis moved him closer to an automatic qualifying spot, which he can guarantee by a single second in the BMW, but a second round of 70 dropped him nine places off the BMW leaderboard. A good weekend could put an end to any anxiety he may have about wanting to officially get his name on the team, but if he doesn’t go down, it will likely be another week before he plays in his fifth consecutive Ryder Cup.

GOLF: AUGUST 18 PGA - BMW Championship

Keegan Bradley
BMW Championship Position: T-26 (1 down)
Ryder Cup ranking: 11
Minimum result required to enter the top six: T-2 triathlon

The 37-year-old, who won the Travelers Championship in June, revealed on Wednesday that he thinks about the Ryder Cup every waking moment. His third win of the season would make his dream come true, but nine strokes back of the lead, he has his work cut out for him this weekend. A rise up the leaderboard would strengthen his case for captaincy as the two-time Ryder Cupper hopes to make his first US team since 2014.

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