The end of the British Open means the Ryder Cup is getting closer, and there are a couple of regulars still not on the team. That starts with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
They both have two tournaments remaining before qualifying ends at the PGA Championship. The top nine earn automatic spots on the U.S. team that goes to Scotland at the end of September to try to win back the cup.
Tom Watson has three captain's picks.
Woods will have to rely on a captain's pick unless he finishes at least third at the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone and the PGA Championship at Valhalla.
Mickelson has a more realistic chance. He's the equivalent of $198,056 in earnings behind Zach Johnson in the No. 9 spot, and money counts double at the PGA Championship.
The Open went a long way toward sewing up a few spots on the team. Rickie Fowler, a runner-up at Royal Liverpool, moved up to No. 3 and locked up a spot. Jim Furyk, who placed fourth Sunday, moved up to No. 4 and can expect to be at Gleneagles on Sept. 26-28. Right behind him is Dustin Johnson, with Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar trailing.
The top seven look pretty solid barring some really bad play, or the right combination behind them winning.
Where it gets tight is at the bottom. Only $430,275 separates Jason Dufner at No. 8 from Webb Simpson at No. 15. Of the next five players behind Zach Johnson, Mickelson is the only one with Ryder Cup experience.