Ryder Cup race - May 1
An explanation of qualifying, some key dates and the latest standings ahead of September's showdown.
Last Updated: 03/05/12 11:51am
This year's Ryder Cup promises to be an absolute thriller with the US having home advantage and holders Europe boasting the top four players in the world rankings.
The qualification process is well under way but how are the two teams shaping up ahead of the showdown at Medinah Country Club in Illinois from September 28-30?
Here's an explanation of how qualifying works, some key dates and the latest standings:
How team chosen: The top 8 players on the US points system after the completion of the USPGA on August 12. Captain Davis Love selects 4 wildcards in September.
How team chosen: The leading 5 players from the European Points List at the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on August 26 plus the leading 5 players from the World Points List (not otherwise qualified from the Euro List) at the end of the Johnnie Walker. Skipper Jose Maria Olazal will announce his 2 wildcard picks the day after on Monday, August 27.
(If the points races ended now these would be the two teams)
USA: Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker + 4 wildcards
EUROPE: Rory McIlroy, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano + 2 wildcards
Jason Dufner was the big mover last week after he posted victory in the Zurich Classic. That took him into fifth place in the US standings and Sky Bet now reckon he's virtually a lock to make the team. They have him at just 1/4 to be part of Davis Love's line-up.
If the betting proves a reliable guide, the likely wildcard picks at this stage would be Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson.
On the European side, Ian Poulter is currently outside the automatic places.
However, he's the next in line on the World Points List and would be a hot favourite for a wildcard pick.
It's for those reasons that Sky Bet make him just 1/6 to be on the plane to Chicago.