Zach Johnson earns final auto bid
NORTON, Mass.-- Zach Johnson didn't play in last week's Barclays so he could be the best man in his brother's wedding. While the decision cost him a chance to earn valuable U.S. Presidents Cup points, it did not cost him a spot on the team.
The 37-year-old former Masters champion made a par on his final hole on Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship to edge Webb Simpson by slightly less than $6,000 for the 10th and last automatic spot on the U.S. team that will face the Internationals, beginning Oct. 3 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
I want Webb on the team. I know how he plays. He won't lose matches, the other guy's got to win.” -- Zach Johnson on Webb Simpson
Johnson and Simpson were paired together on Monday at TPC Boston. Coming into the week, Simpson and Johnson were ninth and 10th, respectively, in the U.S. standings.
"I truly didn't think even think about it," Johnson said of being paired with Simpson. "And then I made that putt on 9. I didn't know what the point situation was between he and I. Actually I thought he was at 8.
"But I guess you've got to go into it and just play. And I stayed in my process."
Johnson said he wished there was a way that he could be tied with Simpson.
"I want Webb on the team," he said. "I know how he plays. He won't lose matches, the other guy's got to win."
Steve Stricker didn't have anyone looking over his shoulder as he started the final round trying to secure a place on the U.S. team. He started the week in 11th position, but easily got inside the top 10 automatic qualifiers with a second-place finish at Deutsche Bank.
Earlier this week, the 46-year-old Wisconsin native texted U.S. captain Fred Couples to tell him that he didn't want one of his captain's picks, and that he preferred to make the team on his own merit.
"I'm excited to be a part of another team and represent the U.S.A. at Muirfield," said Stricker, who will make his fifth appearance in the biennial matches.
All Simpson can do is wait to see if Couples will make him one of the two captains picks on Wednesday.
"Freddie is going to make two good picks," Simpson said. "And all the guys, myself and three or four are playing good golf. He's got a tough job. And we'll see what he does."
In a conference call with reporters Monday night after the end of the Deutsche Bank Championship, U.S. captain Couples said that he and assistant captain Jay Haas were considering four golfers for their two captain's picks. They are Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Simpson.
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