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T.J.'s Team USA Weekly Analysis: July 23

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PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Tiger Woods5,598.86313

T.J.'s Take: When Tiger Woods looks back at the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, he'll likely think about what could have been -- specifically, major win No. 15. A crushing triple-bogey 7 on the par-4, sixth hole ultimately ruined Tiger's chances on Sunday. He wound up with a 3-over 73 in the final round. At 3-under, 277 total, he finished in a tie for third, four shots behind winner Ernie Els. Woods followed his plan to a tee at the Open, hitting very few drivers. That left him with much longer approach shots than most, which meant less birdie opportunities. It worked at Hoylake in 2006. It didn't work at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. It was shocking to see Woods seemingly more accurate with his approaches from 150+ yards from the hole than with less than 150 yards to the hole. Regardless, Woods moved to No. 2 in the world and jumped two spots this week to No. 1 in the latest Team USA Ryder Cup standings.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Bubba Watson5,446.48321

T.J.'s Take:Masters champ Bubba Watson has now played in the Open Championship four times. His tie for 23rd at Royal Lytham & St. Annes marks Watson's best finish in an Open. The long-hitting Lefty was even par headed into the final round on Sunday, looking poised for a top-10 finish. However, with a 4-over 74, Watson had to settle for that T23. He dropped one spot in this week's standings to No. 2.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Jason Dufner5,383.50232

T.J.'s Take:Jason Dufner seems to have gotten the hang of majors lately. The Open Championship was no exception -- until the weekend. Dufner entered the weekend at 4-under par after a brilliant 4-under 66 in the second round. The weekend, however, wasn't as kind to the two-time PGA Tour winner. Dufner followed up a 3-over 73 on Saturday with a 4-over 74 on Sunday to finish in a tie for 31st. He dropped one spot in the latest standings to No. 3.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Webb Simpson4,635.50044

T.J.'s Take: Simpson did not play in the Open Championship as he and wife, Dowd, await the birth of the couple's second child. Simpson remained at No. 4.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Zach Johnson4,402.54455

T.J.'s Take: It's not uncommon for a player to have a letdown in the tournament following a big win. As we outlined in this space last week, Johnson's win at the John Deere Classic was basically the equivalent to a fifth major for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native. Even still, he fired a 5-under 65 in the first round of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. A 74 in the second round was rough, but Johnson bounced back with a 4-under 66 Saturday to put himself in the mix for Sunday. Like many though, Johnson couldn't get anything going in the wind-swept final round. With four bogeys through 10 holes, double-bogey on No. 15 and a birdie at No. 16, Johnson was only able to muster a 5-over 75 on Sunday. The silver-lining was that Johnson's tie for ninth was by far his best finish at the Open. He stayed at No. 5 in this week's standings.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Matt Kuchar4,292.11267

T.J.'s Take: In all, Matt Kuchar has played in the Open Championship on seven occasions. His latest appearance was the most successful. Kuchar tied for ninth at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and moved up one spot in the latest standings to No. 6. It was Kuchar's seventh top-109 finish in 15 starts this season.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Phil Mickelson4,107.10876

T.J.'s Take: After a tie for 16th at the Scottish Open one week before the Open Championship, it looked as if Phil Mickelson would be taking some positive momentum into the Open Championship. However, Lefty just couldn't get it going at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and was visibly frustrated right from the start. With rounds of 73-78, Mickelson missed the cut in a major for the first time since the 2007 PGA Championship. He dropped one spot in this week's standings to No. 7.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Hunter Mahan4,022.92388

T.J.'s Take: Hunter Mahan was steady Eddie throughout the Open Championship. He had three even-par 70s on the week to go along with a 1-over 71 in the second round. Mahan tied for 19th and stayed at No. 8 in the latest standings.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Keegan Bradley3,382.20699

T.J.'s Take: With a tie for 34th in his first Open Championship start, Keegan Bradley hung on to the No. 9 spot in this week's standings.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Rickie Fowler3,268.8381010

T.J.'s Take: Rickie Fowler's best finish in a major championship was a tie for fifth at the 2011 Open Championship. He hasn't played a ton of it, but there's something about links golf that Fowler loves. This time around, he tied for 31st at Royal Lytham & St. Annes with a four-day total of 3-over 283.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Brandt Snedeker3,099.7071119

T.J.'s Take: The biggest mover in this week's standings, Brandt Snedeker leapt eight spots from No. 19 to No. 11, thanks to a tie for third in the Open Championship -- which tied his highest major finish (he also tied for third at the 2008 Masters). At 10 under through 36 holes, Snedeker took a lead into the weekend. But with a 73 on Saturday and a 74 on Sunday, he had to settle for the third-place tie. Overall, it's Snedeker's fourth top-10 in a major and his best finish in 2012 since winning at Torrey Pines.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Dustin Johnson2,920.7701212

T.J.'s Take: Every year since 2009, Dustin Johnson has finished in the top 10 of at least one major championship. That streak continued on Sunday with his tie for ninth at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, a finish that helped him remain in the No. 12 spot in the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings. Right now, it looks as if Johnson is completely back from his new surgery last winter and the back injury that forced him to miss the Masters in April.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Steve Stricker2,898.0691311

T.J.'s Take: Steve Stricker came in at No. 13 this week, dropping two spots with his tie for 23rd at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Time isn't on Stricker's side when it comes to chalking up the only thing his impressive career resume lacks -- a major championship. Hopefully there's one coming his way soon.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Bo Van Pelt2,662.1651413

T.J.'s Take: With rounds of 71-74, Van Pelt missed the cut for just the third time this season at the Open Championship. He dropped one spot in the standings this week to No. 14.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Jim Furyk2,653.1161514

T.J.'s Take: At 1-over 284 for the week, Jim Furyk tied for 34th in the Open Championship. He slipped one spot to No. 15 in the latest standings.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Bill Haas2,378.7671616

T.J.'s Take: Bill Haas stayed at No. 16 in the latest standings with a tie for 19th at the Open Championship, which included a disappointing 4-over 74 in the final round. Even still, the tie for 19th was Haas's second-best finish in a major, outdone only by his tie for 12th at the 2011 PGA Championship.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Kevin Na2,088.7731715

T.J.'s Take: Kevin Na shot 73-77 in the first two rounds of the Open Championship to miss the cut. He dropped two spots to No. 15 in the latest standings.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Kyle Stanley2,240.3511817

T.J.'s Take: Kyle Stanley was in great shape at 1-under through 54 holes at the Open Championship, looking poised for a nice finish. Despite shooting a 6-over 76 on Sunday, Stanley's tie for 39th still marked his best finish in six major championship starts. He dropped one spot in this week's standings to No. 18.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Ben Curtis2,170.7131918

T.J.'s Take: Ben Curtis, winner of the 2003 Open Championship, shot rounds of 75-74 to miss the cut. He dropped one spot this week to No. 19.

PlayerPointsThis WeekLast Week
Johnson Wagner2,126.5522020

T.J.'s Take: Johnson Wagner had rounds of 73-76 to miss the cut at the Open Championship. He held on to the No. 20 spot in this week's standings.

Team USA Qualifying Process

The United States points system will determine the top eight players for the 2012 United States Ryder Cup Team on August 13. In addition, Captain Davis Love III will select four players to complete the United States Team. Points are based upon the following:-- Prize money earned in the 2011 major championships (Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship): One point is awarded for every $1,000 earned; all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.

-- Prize money earned in 2012 "Official" events from Jan. 1 through Aug. 12: One point is awarded for every $1,000 earned, excluding the major championships, events played opposite major championships and events played opposite World Golf Championships; all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.

-- Prize money earned for the 2012 major championships: (Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and the PGA Championship). Two points are awarded for every $1,000 earned; all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.

Prize money earned in 2012 events played opposite the major championships and opposite World Golf Championships events between Jan. 1 and the PGA Championship, which concludes Aug. 12 -- one-half point will be awarded for every $1,000 earned; all U.S. players making the cut will earn points.Click for complete Team USA Standings

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