Johnson makes last-ditch push for wildcard spot on Ryder Cup squad
By Ben Everill ,Reuters
September 5, 2012, 12:09 am TWN
NORTON, Massachusetts -- American Dustin Johnson may not have won the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday but the long bomber put in an 11th-hour bid for Ryder Cup selection by tying for fourth place at the TPC Boston.
Johnson finished highest among those widely tipped to be included when U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III announces his four wildcard picks for the biennial competition on Tuesday.
Those selected will join the eight automatic qualifiers on the U.S. team for this year's Ryder Cup against Europe, which will be played at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago Sept. 28-30.
"I'm a little bit (nervous). I really want to play on the team," Johnson told reporters after shooting a one-under 70 in the final round.
"I really think that I can help the team, and it's something that I really enjoy doing, so hopefully captain Love will pick me."
Brandt Snedeker finished a shot behind Johnson in sixth place, veterans Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk were part of a tie for 13th, Nick Watney shared 20th place, Bo Van Pelt tied for 26th, Hunter Mahan was joint 39th and Rickie Fowler 74th.
Stricker is regarded as the safest bet having provided a great partnership with Tiger Woods on several U.S. teams while Furyk, a seven-time Ryder Cup veteran, is also expected to get the nod.
"I'm calm. Hopefully I have a good feeling I'm going to get that call," Stricker said after carding a 70 on Monday. "I've talked to Davis enough, I've talked to enough other players that are on the team, and it sounds good for me.
"It would be real important because it's right there in my backyard. It's two hours from home."
When the automatic eight qualifiers were decided after last month's PGA Championship, Mahan was next best in the U.S. Cup standings, followed by Stricker, Furyk, Fowler, Snedeker, Van Pelt and Johnson.
However, despite winning twice this year by April, including the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship final over current world number one Rory McIlroy, Mahan has just one top 10 since, leaving many to suspect he will not get the chance to atone for his flubbed chip in the deciding match of the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Snedeker conceded the pressure of performing in the final hours had weighed heavily on his mind in Boston.
"Today was a very big day. If I played bad today it might sway him one way or the other, so (I) just tried to play as well as I could," he said.
"Somebody is going to be really disappointed tomorrow, and whoever it is probably deserved to make the team.
"So it's going to be a tough night for me and everybody else on the outside looking in."
The eight players already on the team are Tiger Woods, Masters champion Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson.
Dufner, Bradley and Simpson will make their Ryder Cup debuts while Watson and Kuchar will each make their second appearances in the team competition.