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For much of Sunday’s final round at PGA Tour event The Barclays, it didn’t look good for Zach Johnson to get a U.S. Ryder Cup team berth on points.
Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler maintained separation from the rest of the field through the first 14 holes of Sunday’s final round, and had they remained in the top two they would both have passed Johnson and dropped him to ninth in the final U.S. point standings. The top eight got automatic berths on the U.S. team.
But Fowler faded down the stretch. Had he finished no worse than solo third-place, he would have claimed the eighth and final automatic berth on the U.S. team. He went bogey-double bogey-birdie-bogey on the last four holes, tumbling into a tie for seventh-place in the tourney.
Johnson had a 2-under-par 69 Sunday and tied for 48th place in the event, which got him little in the way of Ryder Cup points. But it didn’t matter.
So Johnson will play on his fifth U.S. Ryder Cup team. The Cedar Rapids native was on the 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014 squads that all lost to Europe. He has a record of 6-6-2 in Ryder Cup matches.
The other seven U.S. players who qualified on points are Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka, Brandt Sneaker and Barclays winner Reed.
Fowler, who played in the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic in Cedar Rapids in June, is a strong contender to be among the four captain’s picks made by Davis Love III before the Ryder Cup. That will be contested Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.