Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Koepka rises to number two, Woods 26th in world rankings

Koepka rises to number two, Woods 26th in world rankings

"It's a lot harder than people think".

For one final flourish, Woods sank a 19-foot putt for a birdie that got him to 14 under and pumped his fist to celebrate.

"He's priceless. He's been a really big help to our captains in both '16 and '17 from a strategy perspective", Furyk said.

Kyle Stanley and long-time Open leader Kevin Kisner have produced some encouraging golf in the last two majors, with Stanley also winning the race for second behind Justin Thomas at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. "So I knew this was going to be a struggle to try and piece together a round and I did".

He was barely better than atrocious from the tee on the front nine, missing all seven of the fairways he aimed at. Koepka shot a 4-under 66 that left him at 12 under for the tournament.

Woods saved par from the rough on the 5th hole at Bellerive. Woods had to get up and down from a bunker to save par.

He closed with a 20-foot birdie putt and walked off to cheers.

His caddie, Joe LaCava, noticed the emotion, the fire. "Just an unbelievable thing to say considering where he was a year ago". "His game ... I think the word he used is 'trending.' His game is trending". "He's pretty pumped for himself, he's put in a lot of hard work". I didn't realize Koepka was still sizzling about this until Sunday night in Shinnecock. But he said he hadn't felt this good at a tournament he didn't win in a long time.

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"This is motivation to kick on, make the most of the rest of this year and go into next year's [majors] season full of confidence". That would be eight events in 10 weeks for Woods if he does play in Paris.

His ranking has jumped from 656 to start the year to 26 heading out of Bellerive. He has now moved up to 27th.

With the FedEx Cup playoffs to come, Elliott (41) could yet match Rory McIlroy's ex-caddie JP Fitzgerald, who reportedly received $1m after the Holywood star won the $10m FedEx Cup bonus in 2016.

And although Furyk was not about to make it official during a press conference arranged to discuss the eight automatic qualifiers for his team, the 48-year-old conceded he would choose another vice-captain to allow Woods to concentrate on playing at Le Golf National in September. When he was an assistant captain for Steve Stricker at the Presidents Cup, he noted that he was hitting only chip shots and said, "I don't know what my future holds".

"This has been a process on building, " he said. As I walked into the champion's conference his agent got in my face and said, "Don't even think about asking him a question". "I've dealt with it for a very long time". I'm in uncharted territory. Because no one has ever had a fused spine hitting it like I'm hitting it.

"He took some time off and there really wasn't any timetable for him to come back", he said.

The Ryder Cup points standings don't determine anything beyond the top eight spots, but are worth looking at to see what other golfers Woodland would have to beat out.

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