Woods, Mickelson still in the running

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have their work cut out if they are to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team.

Woods is currently 70th on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list with 806 points, while Mickelson is 11th on 3252.

This week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio and next week’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky represent the last opportunities for both players to gain points, break into the top nine and qualify automatically.

Woods has had several successes at Firestone, with eight tournaments wins and he captured the 2000 PGA Championship title at Valhalla.

Mickelson has played in the Ryder Cup nine times, more any American, winning 17 points in total in the 38 matches he has played.

Woods and Mickelson, along with every other American player, will earn one point for every $1000 they earn in Ohio this week and two for every $1000 earned next week in Kentucky.

They will bag 1500 points in total if they win the Bridgestone Invitational and 3000 if they win the PGA championship.

Bubba Watson currently leads the list with 6828 points and is the only player who cannot drop out of the top nine regardless of his results over the next two weeks.

The players holding the six spots below Watson are Jim Furyk (5875), Jimmy Walker (5510), Rickie Fowler (5403) and Dustin Johnson (5133), Matt Kuchar (4999) and Jordan Spieth (4781).

All are unlikely to drop out of the top nine, but eight placed Jason Dufner (3516) and ninth placed Zach Johnson (3450) could still tumble down over the next two weeks.

Should Woods and Mickelson not crack the top nine, they could still be selected as one of US captain Tom Watson’s three captain’s picks.