T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Walker, English make Ryder Cup moves at Sony Open
Over the next several months, the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team will really start to take shape. Keep in mind -- for regular PGA Tour events, points are worth just as much now as they will be down the stretch before points close at the PGA Championship in August.
One player taking advantage of the early point-getting is Jimmy Walker. Prior to his win at the end of 2013 in the Frys.com Open, Walker had gone 187 PGA Tour starts without a victory. He won that week -- which counts toward the 2014 season -- and won again on Sunday in the Sony Open in Hawaii.
So, after 187 starts without a win, Walker now has two in his last six appearances. Thanks to the latest effort, Walker jumped from No. 8 to the No. 1 spot in the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings.
Here's a look at the current top 12:
1. Jimmy Walker
2. Phil Mickleson
3. Jason Dufner
4. Dustin Johnson
5. Harris English
6. Zach Johnson
7. Chris Kirk
8. Ryan Moore
9. Webb Simpson
10. Matt Kuchar
11. Brian Stuard
12. Jim Furyk
On the strength of a fourth-place showing at Sony, his third top-10 in the new season, English moved from No. 7 to No. 5.
Interestingly, Walker and English played together for the first three rounds of the Sony Open. In case Captain Watson, didn't notice, Walker's wife, Erin, sent him this cool little stat via Twitter on Monday:
— Erin Walker (@tourwifetravels) January 13, 2014
Chris Kirk finished alone in second place in Hawaii on Sunday to move from No. 9 to No. 7.
Kuchar was the only player not previously in the top 10 to sneak in, jumping three spots from No. 13 to No. 10 with his tie for eighth in Honolulu.
Brian Stuard (sixth in the Sony) and Charles Howell III (tied for eighth), moved up four spots apiece. Stuard went from No. 16 to No. 11, while Howell moved from No. 19 to No. 15.
This week, the PGA Tour is back on the U.S. mainland for the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.