Kevin Chappell earned the right Monday to represent the Red, White and Blue. Barely.
A final-round even-par 71 at the Dell Technologies Championship put Chappell at 2 under for the week – good for a tie for 35th. Charley Hoffman closed in 68 but finished in a tie for 47th at even par.
The connection here? Hoffman sat 10th in the U.S. Presidents Cup standings heading into the week, with Chappell close behind in his 11th-place spot. After the Dell Technologies Championship, the top 10 in the standings would be automatic selections for the team.
With his T-35 finish at TPC Boston, Chappell ended up moving into that 10th spot over Hoffman by .23 points. This means Chappell earns a spot on his first Presidents Cup squad.
Let’s just say he was excited about this development.
Chappell, 31, earned his first PGA Tour victory earlier this year and has five top 10s on the season overall. Overall, life has been good for Chappell recently, with this development adding on to the glee.
“You know, 2017’s been very gratifying,” Chappell said. “To have a daughter, and to win my first golf tournament, and be able to represent my country, really cool.”
Good news for Chappell means bad news for Hoffman, but the 40-year-old can take heed: He’s still probable to make the team.
Two captain’s picks remain for the U.S., and those will be announced by Captain Steve Stricker at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday on Golf Channel. (The International team also solidified its 10 automatic qualifiers via its point standings Monday, with Captain Nick Price also revealing his two captain’s picks Wednesday.)
Phil Mickelson (15th in the U.S. standings) is likely to be a Stricker captain’s pick. But with nobody outside the bubble really standing out, it seems fair to believe the other pick will go to the 11th guy in the standings (which is Hoffman).
Brian Harman, Jason Dufner and Gary Woodland – 12th through 14th in the standings – are also potential captain’s pick options.
Still, Chappell may not have needed that jump to be on the team considering he sat 11th before this week, but it must be nice for him to be guaranteed a spot rather than having to sweat things out until Wednesday.
He’ll also return to a place – Liberty National Golf Club – where he holds the course record with a 62.
“It’s a place I feel comfortable,” Chappell said. “I look forward to embracing the crowds, embracing the fans, and making sure that the flag flies high at Liberty National.”
The Presidents Cup is set for Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J. Here are the U.S. and International team automatic qualifiers:
• • •
U.S. automatic qualifiers
1. Dustin Johnson
2. Jordan Spieth
3. Justin Thomas
4. Rickie Fowler
5. Daniel Berger
6. Brooks Koepka
7. Kevin Kisner
8. Patrick Reed
9. Matt Kuchar
10. Kevin Chappell
International automatic qualifiers
1. Hideki Matsuyama
2. Jason Day
3. Adam Scott
4. Louis Oosthuizen
5. Charl Schwartzel
6. Marc Leishman
7. Branden Grace
8. Jhonattan Vegas
9. Si Woo Kim
10. Adam Hadwin