John Senden’s top-eight performance at the World Golf Championship matchplay in San Francisco has put him into contention for a first-ever Presidents Cup berth.
Senden, the 44-year-old Queenslander who won four matches at Harding Park before being ousted in the quarter-finals by Gary Woodland, has moved into ninth spot on the current rankings for the International that will contest the Presidents Cup in South Korea later this year.
There are four Australians – Jason Day, Adam Scott, Senden and Marc Leishman – in the slot for automatic selection in the International team to be captained by Nick Price.
The International team is drawn from all nations with the exception of Europe and the United States, with the top 10 on the world rankings in the week of September 7 all offered a spot. Price then has two captain’s selections to complete his 12-man team.
Senden has been close to selection before but narrowly missed out, while Scott and Day are veterans of the event, and Leishman made his debut in 2013.
There are a few Australians just outside the top 10, headed by Matt Jones, who is 13th ranked among International players at world No. 64.
Interestingly, neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson are in the top 10 on the US players’ list, which is taken from the Fedex Cup standings. Both are playing in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass this week, but their world rankings have slid in recent times, Woods dropping to 125th and Mickelson to 36th.
They are not the only veterans who could miss the cup competition. Ernie Els, an eight-time International team member, is only 19th on the current rankings for Price’s team, although he would be in consideration as a captain’s pick.
Emirates Australian Open champion and the reigning Masters champion Jordan Spieth heads the American list, which will be finalised in September.
The Presidents Cup is to be played at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club at Incheon, South Korea, from 8-11 October.
INTERNATIONAL TEAM TOP 10
1 Jason Day (world ranking 7)
2 Adam Scott (9)
3 Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) (14)
4 Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) (24)
5 Anirban Lahiri (India) (36)
6 Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) (39)
7 Branden Grace (South Africa) (40)
8 Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) (47)
9 John Senden (54)
10 Marc Leishman (57)
13 Matt Jones (64)
23 Scott Hend (101)
27 Geoff Ogilvy (111)
33 Steven Bowditch (121)
US TEAM TOP 10
(taken from Fedex Cup table)
1 Jordan Spieth (world ranking 2)
2 Jimmy Walker (11)
3 Bubba Watson (4)
4 Jim Furyk (5)
5 Patrick Reed (15)
6 Dustin Johnson (8)
7 Matt Kuchar (16)
8 JB Holmes (12)
9 Ryan Moore (31)
10 Chris Kirk (26)