Ryan Palmer doesn’t sense any suspense in U.S. Ryder Cup selections

Ryan Palmer

Ryan Palmer doesn’t sense any suspense in U.S. Ryder Cup selections

PGA Tour

Ryan Palmer doesn’t sense any suspense in U.S. Ryder Cup selections

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — He understands that it consumes many in the media and that fans are likely into it, but Ryan Palmer fails to see any intrigue in following this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup standings.

“It’s already set. It’s already done,” Palmer said, just after shooting 3-under 68 in the second round of The Barclays. It pushed Palmer to 3-under 139 and into a share of 10th place halfway through this FedEx Cup playoff opener. For his interests, Palmer is 63rd in FedEx Cup points and looking for a big jump, while he’s 40th in the Ryder Cup standings and not even in the picture.

But, since his opinion was asked, Palmer offered it up: “The top 12 are already in, and you have one guy trying to play his way in.”

That simple?

Palmer smiled, nodded his head and said, “I think this one’s done. There’s one spot not chosen.”

His thinking is sound, and after two rounds of The Barclays, there’s no reason to think Palmer isn’t correct. After all, when the cut dropped to 3 over and 79 got into weekend play, one of those who sneaked in on the number was Bubba Watson (71-74).

That meant that everyone but one in positions six through 16 in the Ryder Cup standings made the cut and will get points in this final qualifying tournament. (No. 14 Bill Haas missed the cut.) If you follow Palmer’s way of thinking, then it goes like this:

The top five names (Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka) have clinched spots and No. 6 (Brandt Snedeker) will get more points so he likely will not be moved out of the top eight.

That leaves Nos. 7 and 8 (Zach Johnson and Patrick Reed) and Nos. 9 through 12 (J.B. Holmes, Watson, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler, respectively).

Palmer waved off going any deeper on the list, except for Jim Furyk at 15.

“I think 13 through 18 (and beyond) have no chance, except Furyk,” he said.

Translating Palmer’s thinking (which is probably spot on): If you locked in the current top eight, captain Davis Love will choose four names from Holmes, Watson, Kuchar, Fowler and Watson.

Whatever movement that may take place over the next 36 holes — maybe Fowler, who shot 69 and is 4 under and tied for second, will jump into the top eight, or maybe Holmes (72–139, T-10) will, and perhaps Zach Johnson will fall out — didn’t change Palmer’s level of interest.

It’s those same 13 names for 12 spots, but he was willing to say that “you can count Rickie in” and that Zach Johnson “will get picked,” though Palmer wasn’t bothered by any of it. There was the time in 2010 when he considered himself a possible pick, but captain Corey Pavin went with Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, Stewart Cink and Fowler, a rookie who was 20th on the list.

Two years ago, Palmer received a phone call from captain Tom Watson, but never considered it more than a courtesy. Palmer conceded that he has “quit worrying about” the biennial Ryder Cup selection, and he suggested many players feel similarly.

“They look at guys who have played in Ryder Cups,” he said, and he pointed out that names in consideration are either on the task force or close to task-force members. “It’s the same team, and it makes sense. You take guys with experience.”

In a different corner of the Bethpage Black arena, some of Palmer’s sentiments were echoed by Ryan Moore, who came into the week 23rd in Ryder Cup standings. Only he may as well have been 123rd, judging by the way he answered a question about it.

“Honestly, that’s probably the farthest thing from my mind,” Moore said, when asked how he felt his trips of 69-68 to get into fourth place at 5 under might help his chances. “All I’m thinking about right now is getting to the Tour Championship.”

Which smacks at the glory of this PGA Tour business: there’s always something to play for. Guys are fighting to win $1.53 million here at The Barclays, Palmer’s striving to push up the FEC standings, Moore wants in at East Lake.

Oh, and conventional thinking tells you that there are probably five names vying for four U.S. Ryder Cup spots.

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