US PGA: Brooks Koepka driven by recognition of his success


Woods, 14-times major champion, is on the team as a vice-captain, a role he filled at the 2016 Ryder Cup and 2017 Presidents Cup while he was out with a potentially career-ending back injury.

The rankings have added significance with the Ryder Cup looming in France next month and the top eight qualifying automatically for the 12-strong U.S. team.

The 28-year-old American joined one of golf's most select fraternities with his second straight US Open triumph at Shinnecock Hills in June, becoming just the seventh player to win back-to-back US Opens and the first since Curtis Strange in 1988-89.

What remains is for Furyk to determine his four captain's picks.

Furyk will name his first three wild cards in three weeks' time and then his final pick a week later.

"I realise that right now we are here to celebrate the top eight players, but he's hard to ignore". If I need a pick hopefully I get a pick. "It is something I will discuss with Tiger and the other vice captains, what's best for the team".

Aside from the fact the PGA is a major it brings nothing unique to the table, making it in many eyes little more than a glorified PGA Tour event. He gets attention inside and outside the ropes. But after the scrambling, club-slamming, fist-pumping, electrifying show he put on over a round of 6-under 64 - his best closing round at a major - who can argue that golf isn't more fun when Tiger's in the mix?

"This eight is exciting for any captain", said Furyk.

"He seems to rise to the occasion", said Furyk.

"He's playing very well", Furyk said.

"He's the guy who can just will himself to play good golf", Furyk told BBC Sport. We will also look at Le Golf National and how it plays.

"I realize Tiger Woods is a story, I realize he's playing very well and I'm excited to see that".

Furyk would not be pinned down on whether Woods was guaranteed a place in the team, skirting the question, no doubt cognisant of the diplomacy his job requires.

"For me, the numbers are nice, good to look at, but not always the most important".

"But Tiger serves that objective as a vice-captain or a player and I'm looking forward to having his help". "And I'm just very pleased at what I've done so far, and now to be part of the Ryder Cup conversation, going from where I've come from to now in the past year, it's been pretty cool".

The BBC reports that the 12-man team will consist of the top four players from the Team Europe Ryder Cup points list, the four leading players from the world points list, and four of Bjorn's captain's picks. "That's what we're allowed, and I see a lot of value in having all five there". Bryson DeChambeau finished ninth in the standings, just one place out of automatics when the top eight were confirmed on Sunday night, and it would be harsh if he is overlooked.

As Tiger Woods prepared to hit his tee shot on the 5th hole on Sunday at the PGA Championship, the crowd hushed as he took a few practice swings. Both played the first two rounds of the PGA with Furyk, and rallied to make the cut after poor starts.

"But Tiger serves that goal as a vice-captain or a player and I'm looking forward to having his help".

He's the hottest golfer on the planet, though you might struggle to recognize him.

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.

"I think other than me and my team, everybody was rooting for Tiger".

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.