The WGC-Mexico Championship this weekend in Mexico City was the first event where U.S. points were up for grabs for the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. U.S. players received one point for every $2,000 earned.
With one event in the books -- the first of nine point-getting opportunities this year -- the current top-12 consists of nine Ryder Cup veterans and three rookies.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson has the top spot after his win in Mexico -- his second victory in as many starts -- with potential rookie, Justin Thomas, coming in at No. 2. Thomas is already a three-time winner on the PGA Tour in the 2016-17 season, but none of those victories count toward the Ryder Cup (other than Captain Jim Furyk surely taking note).
Phil Mickelson, the all-time U.S. leader in Ryder Cup appearances with 11 straight, is tied for third with Brandt Snedeker, while potential rookie Kevin Kisner rounds out the top 5 after one event. Kisner was on the top-12 bubble for much of 2016 leading up to the Hazeltine matches where the U.S. won for the first time since 2008 at Valhalla.
Interestingly, eight of the nine veterans in the current top 12 -- Johnson, Mickelson, Snedeker, J.B. Holmes, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Jimmy Walker were all on the Hazeltine squad.
Jason Dufner is the only veteran in the top 12 who didn't play at Hazeltine.
In case you were wondering, U.S. Ryder Cup superstar Patrick Reed is currently No. 27 in the first list of standings, one better than the final spot of No. 28.
The next opportunity to collect Ryder Cup points comes March 22-26 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The points process for the American team will conclude on August 12, 2018, following the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, with the top eight players on the points list securing spots on the U.S. Team.
Here is the current top 12 (and ties):
1. Dustin Johnson, 830.000
2. Justin Thomas, 156.250
T3. Phil Mickelson, 105.833
T3. Brandt Snedeker, 105.833
5. Kevin Kisner, 77.000
T6. J.B. Holmes, 65.625
T6. Jordan Spieth, 65.625
T8. Daniel Berger, 52.563
T8. Rickie Fowler, 52.563
10. Matt Kuchar, 45.667
11. Jason Dufner, 43.000
12. Jimmy Walker, 40.500
The four remaining slots on the U.S. Team will be Captain's Selections. Three selections will be announced by Captain Furyk following the Dell Technologies Championship scheduled to be completed on September 3, 2018, and the final selection will be announced after the BMW Championship, which is slated to be completed on September 9, 2018.
Here's a look at the point-getting events and how the 12-player team will be picked:
2017 Major Championships:
- 1 Point per $1,000 earned (The Masters; U.S. Open; Open Championship; PGA Championship)
2017 WGC Events and The Players Championship:
- 1 Point per $2,000 earned (WGC-Mexico Championship; WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship; The Players Championship; WGC-Bridgestone Invitational; WGC-HSBC Champions)
2018 Regular PGA Tour events:
- 1 point per $1,000 earned (Beginning January 1, 2018, through the PGA Championship, August 12, 2018; includes the Zurich Classic of New Orleans team event and WGC events)
2018 Opposite Field PGA TOUR events will NOT receive points
2018 Major Championships:
- 2 Points per $1,000 earned for the Winner; 1.5 Points per $1,000 earned for all others to make the cut (The Masters; U.S. Open; Open Championship; PGA Championship)