Reuters/ New York
Sam Burns vaulted 13 spots in the United States Ryder Cup team rankings and 50 spots in the Official World Golf Rankings following his first career PGA Tour victory at the Valspar Championship. Burns, 24, is now 24th in the US Ryder Cup team rankings and a career-best 44th in the world rankings. It continues a meteoric rise for the former LSU star, who entered 2021 ranked 154th.
In addition to his win on Sunday, Burns finished third at the Genesis Invitational in February, and his 2020-21 season results include ties for seventh at both the Safeway Open and the Houston Open. Norway’s Viktor Hovland also set a new career high by rising four spots to No 11 in the world. The Norwegian shot the low round on Sunday, with his 65 helping him secure a tie for third place.
Keegan Bradley also vaulted 61 spots to No 74 with his solo second. He moved up 16 spots in the Ryder Cup standings but remains well out of the picture at No 30. Whether Burns can put himself further in the Ryder Cup conversation remains to be seen. The top six players following the Tour Championship will earn automatic spots, with captain Steve Stricker then selecting the final six team members. Burns is ahead of Ryder Cup veterans such as Matt Kuchar (No 26) and Bubba Watson (29), but he’ll likely have to continue to string together quality finishes to put himself squarely on Stricker’s radar.
World No 1 Dustin Johnson remains atop the US Ryder Cup standings, followed by Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka in the top six.
Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Webb Simpson and Daniel Berger round out the top 10. The US will take on Team Europe at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in September’s Ryder Cup, which was postponed a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Johnson commits to US Open warm-up at Congaree
World number one Dustin Johnson has committed to play in the Palmetto Championship at Congaree golf Club in his home state of South Carolina a week before the US Open, the PGA Tour said yesterday.
The June 10-13 Palmetto Championship replaced the Canadian Open on the PGA Tour’s schedule after that event was cancelled due to logistical challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Johnson, who took the week off before his unsuccessful Masters title defence in April when he missed the cut, said he looked forward to the chance to compete in his home state.
“I have heard nothing but great reviews about the golf course at Congaree and have no doubt it will provide a stiff challenge for all of us on the PGA Tour,” Johnson, who won the 2016 US Open, said in a statement.
In 11 starts during the 2020-21 PGA Tour season, Johnson has four top-10 finishes, including his record-setting victory at the 2020 Masters in November. The US Open is June 17-20 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Women’s PGA Championship to welcome 8,000 fans a day
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next month in Johns Creek, Georgia, will be contested with approximately 8,000 spectators on-site each day at Atlanta Athletic Club, the PGA of America said on Monday.
A number of policies and health measures will be in place at the June 24-27 tournament, which is the LPGA’s third major of the year, in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Face coverings will be required for all spectators, staff and volunteers, including those who have received the Covid-19 vaccine, and should be worn at all times. All spectators, staff and volunteers will be expected to maintain appropriate social distancing at the tournament and sanitisation stations will be available throughout the grounds.
South Korea’s Kim Sei-young is the defending champion after picking up her first major title last October in Pennsylvania.
The ANA Inspiration in April, which was the year’s first major, was held without fans in Rancho Mirage, California.
A limited number of tickets will be made available for the June 3-6 US Women’s Open in San Francisco.
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