Walker, English make Ryder Cup moves at Sony Open

Harris English
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Harris English earned a spot in the top 5 of the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings thanks to his fourth-place finish in the Sony Open on Sunday.
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

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.

2014 RYDER CUP: U.S. points standings | How U.S. Points are earned | Team USA | Team Europe

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.

Remember, the top 9 players in points automatically make the team, while U.S. Captain Tom Watson will make three captain's selections on Sept. 2 to fill out the squad he takes to Gleneagles.

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

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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:

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.

 

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.