MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia – Korea’s Sung Kang enhanced his prospects of qualifying for the International Team to face the United States Team at the Presidents Cup this December following a maiden PGA TOUR victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson and a solo-seventh finish at the PGA Championship.
Kang’s magical two-week spell has vaulted the 31-year-old 28 spots in the standings from No. 38 to No. 10. He is currently the highest-ranked Korean in the standings and is looking to make his Presidents Cup debut.
The Presidents Cup will return to Melbourne, Australia and The Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the third time, December 9-15, 2019, when the International Team, led by Captain Ernie Els, will take on the U.S. Team led by Captain Tiger Woods.
“If I get in, I’ll be honored to play in the Presidents Cup,” Kang said following his win.
Other admirable performances at the PGA by International Team hopefuls included a T8 finish by Adam Scott, who remains No. 11 in the standings. In just his fourth PGA TOUR start, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond captured the hearts of the New York faithful as the 23-year-old Asian Tour product finished T14 and ascended from No. 16 to No. 12 in the standings.
Janewattananond, who won the SMBC Singapore Open in January, and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 17), currently the only Thai player competing on the PGA TOUR, are Thailand’s two best chances to qualify for the International Team this year. Countryman Thongchai Jaidee featured in the 2015 edition in Incheon, Korea.
“It's on the back of my mind for sure,” Janewattananond said of qualifying for the Presidents Cup. “I played with Ernie a couple weeks back, and he just told me to keep playing good. So I'll see about that.”
The top 5 of the International Team standings remained consistent, with Marc Leishman sitting atop the standings, followed by Louis Oosthuizen, Hideki Matsuyama, Haotong Li and Cameron Smith. Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, who finished T16 in his PGA Championship debut, moved one rung up into eighth position, swapping places with Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan, winner of last month’s RBC Heritage. The top-eight players following the BMW Championship, the second of three events in the FedExCup Playoffs, will earn automatic places in the International Team, with Captain Els making four picks following the PGA TOUR’s Asian swing in early November.
On the U.S. Team points list, Brooks Koepka successfully defended his PGA Championship title in wire-to-wire fashion for his sixth win on the PGA TOUR and fourth major championship victory while solidifying his bid to join the U.S. Presidents Cup Team for a second time. Koepka jumped from No. 5 to No. 2 in the standings behind Dustin Johnson, who remained atop the standings after finishing runner up at Bethpage Black outside New York City.
Koepka, 29, made his Presidents Cup debut in 2017 at Liberty National where he produced a 2-2-0 record, which included two Four-ball match wins with Johnson as his partner. With the win at the PGA, Koepka joined U.S. Team hopefuls Xander Schauffele (No. 4) and Matt Kuchar (No. 5) as players with multiple victories on the PGA TOUR during the 2018-19 season. Schauffele and Kuchar finished T16 and T8, respectively, to maintain their position inside the top 8 in the standings.
Elsewhere on the U.S. Team standings, Patrick Cantlay moved into position for one of the top-eight automatic qualifier spots after a T3 finish at the PGA Championship elevated him four spots from No. 12 to No. 8. The 27-year-old Long Beach, California native has seven top-10 finishes in 13 starts this season and is in search of his first Presidents Cup appearance.
Three-time Presidents Cup participant Jordan Spieth returned to form with a T3 finish of his own at Bethpage Black. At No. 38 in the standings, the 11-time PGA TOUR winner and former Australian Open champion will need a solid run over the next three months in hopes of locking up an automatic qualifier spot in mid-August.
Playing his first tournament since his Masters triumph, U.S. Captain Woods missed the cut and dropped two spots in the standings to No. 11.
The top 15 players in the International and U.S. Presidents Cup Team Standings as of May 20, 2019 are listed below. Click here for the full Presidents Cup standings.
Rank Player Country Points
1. Marc Leishman Australia 136.30
2. Louis Oosthuizen South Africa 131.93
3. Hideki Matsuyama Japan 122.76
4. Haotong Li China 115.86
5. Cameron Smith Australia 107.08
6. Jason Day Australia 102.85
7. Justin Harding South Africa 102.04
8. Abraham Ancer Mexico 97.99
9. C.T. Pan Chinese Taipei 96.04
10. Sung Kang Korea 94.05
11. Adam Scott Australia 91.37
12. Jazz Janewattananond Thailand 82.49
13. Si Woo Kim Korea 78.84
14. Shugo Imahira Japan 76.99
15. Corey Conners Canada 76.72
Rank Player Points
1. Dustin Johnson 6,327
2. Brooks Koepka 6,116
3. Justin Thomas 5,359
4. Xander Schauffele 5,169
5. Matt Kuchar 5,099
6. Bryson DeChambeau 4,471
7. Rickie Fowler 4,199
8. Patrick Cantlay 3,816
9. Tony Finau 3,682
10. Gary Woodland 3,671
11. Tiger Woods 3,638
12. Phil Mickelson 3,521
13. Webb Simpson 3,458
14. Charles Howell III 3,134
15. Kevin Kisner 3,106
International Team eligibility criteria
The top eight (8) international players (excluding those eligible for the European Ryder Cup team) from the Presidents Cup International Team Points List which shall be Official World Golf Ranking points accumulated in the time period from August 27, 2018 (Dell Technologies Championship) through August 18, 2019 (BMW Championship).
Four Captain’s selections will be made at a to-be-determined later date.
U.S. Team eligibility criteria
The top eight (8) U.S. PGA TOUR members who have earned the most FedExCup points from September 11, 2017 (2017 BMW Championship) through 2019 BMW Championship, weighted as follows:
(a) 2017 BMW Championship through 2018 TOUR Championship: 1 FedExCup point = 1 point
(b) First event of the 2018-2019 season through 2019 BMW Championship: 1 FedExCup point = 2 points