Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele among Ryder Cup hopefuls in the mix at TPC Boston

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Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele among Ryder Cup hopefuls in the mix at TPC Boston

PGA Tour

Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele among Ryder Cup hopefuls in the mix at TPC Boston

NORTON, Mass. – Xander Schauffele doesn’t seem like the most likely selection for a Ryder Cup captain’s pick, but he had the best day of any of the contenders in Round 1 of the Dell Technologies Championship.

The 24-year-old reigning Rookie of the Year shot 3-under 68 Friday at TPC Boston and was three shots behind leader Justin Rose. Schauffele, who was 1 over through 13, birdied four of his last five holes to get into the mix entering the weekend.

Schauffele missed the cut at last week’s Northern Trust, but he might give U.S. captain Jim Furyk something to think about if he could win in Boston with three of the four captains picks set to be announced Tuesday.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have long been considered locks, with Woods turning in a disappointing 1-over 72 in Round 1. Mickelson shot 1-over 72 in the afternoon wave that started off OK but went south with a double bogey at the par-3 16th. Mickelson did get one of those shots back with a 14-foot birdie make at 18 and said last week he was going to make it an “easy” decision for Furyk by playing well this week and in Philadelphia.

Bryson DeChambeau seems like another logical choice after his Northern Trust victory. He followed that up with a 1-under 70 Friday, including a bogey-free 34 over his last nine holes.

That leaves one remaining spot, to be announced after next week’s BMW Championship in Philadelphia. Tony Finau is in great shape there after a solo second finish at the Northern Trust, and he’s in the mix again this week after a 2-under 69. Finau made just one bogey on the day and sank a 5-foot birdie putt on 18 to close it out.

It would be interesting to see how Furyk would weigh, say,  two straight top-5 finishes for Finau to start the playoffs compared to a missed cut and a win for someone such as Schauffele. He still has a long ways to go, of course, but he likely needs to win one of the next two events to have a chance.

In that sense, Schauffele is doing all he can in Boston to give himself a chance at Paris.

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