U.S. Ryder Cup team could take some shape after Masters

Ryder Cup
PGA of America
By T.J. Auclair
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 | 12:06 p.m.

There's still a long way to go when it comes to accumulating points toward Team USA for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

However, if recent history is any indication, the team could take some shape at the conclusion of the Masters. This isn't a huge surprise, as major championships provide the opportunity to earn double points in a Ryder Cup year. Two points are awarded for every $1,000 earned in the majors this year and all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.

In 2012, here is what the top 20 looked like at the conclusion of the Masters:

1. Bubba Watson
2. Phil Mickelson

3. Hunter Mahan
4. Keegan Bradley
5. Tiger Woods

6. Bill Haas
7. Steve Stricker *
8. Brandt Snedeker *

9. Kyle Stanley
10. Johnson Wagner
11. Mark Wilson
12. Matt Kuchar
13. Jason Dufner
14. Dustin Johnson *

15. Ben Crane
16. Kevin Na
17. Bo Van Pelt
18. Robert Garrigus
19. Jim Furyk *
20. Webb Simpson

Of that top 20, 11 players were on the 2012 U.S. team at Medinah -- the names in bold print above (asterisks indicates 2012 captain Davis Love III's captain's selections).

Again, there's a long way to go, but there's a good chance we could see a handful of this year's eventual squad among the top 10 come Sunday night. Points officially close at the conclusion of the 2014 PGA Championship.

Here is the current top 20, which includes nine members from the 2012 team (click here for the entire points list):

1. Jimmy Walker
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Patrick Reed
4. Bubba Watson
5. Jason Dufner
6. Phil Mickelson

7. Harris English
8. Zach Johnson
9. Webb Simpson
10. Matt Kuchar

11. Ryan Moore
12. Chris Kirk
13. Matt Every
14. Jordan Spieth
15. Will Mackenzie
16. Kevin Stadler
17. Keegan Bradley
18. Kevin Na
19. Jim Furyk
20. Ryan Palmer

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.