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Devil Ball Golf

The nine automatic picks are set for the American Ryder Cup team, with three still left for Tom Watson

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

The end of the PGA Championship means major season is over, but it does ramp us right up for the Ryder Cup that kicks off in late September.

The final major is the last chance for American Ryder Cup hopefuls to automatically make the team, with nine guys punching their card for Gleneagles on Monday.

Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson will all be part of the United States team next month, qualifying on points after Sunday's PGA.

Our attention now turns to the three captain's picks of Tom Watson, and what will have to happen before Sept. 2, when Watson will announce the three he's choosing to represent the United States.

Jason Dufner is the man that dropped out of the automatic spot as Mickelson jumped him. Dufner had to withdraw from the PGA Championship on Thursday because of bulging discs that might keep him out of these matches.

Right behind him in the standings is Ryan Moore, Brendon Todd, Keegan Bradley and Chris Kirk, with names like Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker floating in that group of guys with a chance to get picked by Watson.

And of course, there is still an outside chance of Tiger Woods making the team if he can somehow get healthy and sharpen that game of his before early September. While it doesn't make a ton of sense to put Woods on the team considering the season he had, the Ryder Cup is a business and Woods brings those added eyeballs to an event that a lot of people suspect will be a steamrolling by the Europeans (if you disagree, just look at their team, and know that this is the first time in the history of golf that three of the four majors in a season were won by Europeans).

Watson told media on Monday that Tiger actually told him, "I want you to pick me," but for now, we have no idea if Woods will even be healthy enough to swing a golf club at that time, much less make a difference in these important matches.

Definitely more on the picks from Watson in the coming weeks, but for now we have nine American golfers that will be competing across the pond. It isn't the most ferocious group the Americans have ever put up against the Europeans at the Ryder Cup, but it seems the underdog in these matches can sometimes shock the world. I'm sure that will be a part of what Watson preaches to the guys as these matches get underway.

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Shane Bacon is the editor of Devil Ball Golf and Busted Racquet on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shanebaconblogs@yahoo.com or

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