Just three weeks remain until the top 8 players on each team officially qualify for the 2019 Presidents Cup following the conclusion of the BMW Championship on Aug. 18. Cameron Smith, in search of his Presidents Cup debut, finished T12 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and improved two spots in the International Team standings from No. 8 to No. 6.

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.

The 25-year-old Aussie has jumped four spots in the standings over the past two weeks thanks to back-to-back top-25 finishes against world-class fields at The Open Championship and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Smith is in the field at this week’s Wyndham Championship and will qualify for the first round of the FedExCup Playoffs the following week at THE NORTHERN TRUST.

Currently No. 75 in the FedExCup standings, Smith will need another solid start over the next two weeks to qualify for the BMW Championship – where only the top 70 in the FedExCup standings are invited – and give himself one final opportunity to punch his ticket to Royal Melbourne. A Presidents Cup berth would provide more reason to celebrate for Smith, who will turn 26 on Aug. 18 when the top 8 are confirmed.

“I feel like my game is coming back to where it needs to be,” Smith said. “I feel really confident with my putter and typically when I feel good with my putter, the rest of my game just kind of comes around.”

International Team standings leader Marc Leishman remains the top qualifier following a solo-third finish at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational that was highlighted by a third-round 63 at TPC Southwind. It was Leishman’s sixth top-5 finish of the season on the PGA TOUR, which has him primed for a deep run through the FedExCup Playoffs.

While Smith has given himself additional breathing room inside the top 8, Jason Day remains on the bubble at No. 7 following a T40 finish in Memphis. Day will take the week off before returning for the FedExCup Playoffs at THE NORTHERN TRUST. At No. 38 in the FedExCup standings, Day will likely qualify for the second round of the Playoffs at the BMW Championship, giving him two final chances to snag one of eight Presidents Cup spots.

Rounding out the top 8 is Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan, who slipped two spots in the standings to No. 8 following a T48 finish in Memphis. Pan is looking to become the first player from Chinese Taipei to qualify for the Presidents Cup.

Among the players in the field at this week’s Wyndham Championship who are currently outside the top 8 include: INT Team: Abraham Ancer (No. 10), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 18), Corey Conners (No. 17), Adam Hadwin (No. 15) and Sungjae Im (No. 13); U.S. Team: Charles Howell III (No. 15), Webb Simpson (No. 10), Chez Reavie (No. 13) and Patrick Reed (No. 17).

On the U.S. Team, Brooks Koepka continues to bolster his position atop the standings after nabbing his seventh PGA TOUR win and first World Golf Championships title at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. This will be Koepka’s second Presidents Cup appearance after making his debut at Liberty National in 2017.

The top American in Memphis behind Koepka was Webb Simpson, who fired a final-round 64 to finish runner up for his best finish on TOUR since his win at the 2018 PLAYERS Championship. Simpson moved up one spot in the standings to No. 10 as he prepares to play in this week’s Wyndham Championship where he is a past winner. The rest of the top 10 in the U.S. Team standings saw no movement.

U.S. Captain Woods remains at No. 12 in the standings and will make his next start in the first round of the FedExCup Playoffs at next week’s THE NORTHERN TRUST. With 3,868 U.S. Presidents Cup points, Woods is 1,030 points behind the No. 8 position currently held by Gary Woodland.

The top 15 players in the International and U.S. Presidents Cup Team Standings as of July 29, 2019 are listed below. Visit www.presidentscup.com for more


Rank   Last Week      Player                      Country                   Points

  1.         1.                    Marc Leishman             Australia                       188.22
  2.         2                     Louis Oosthuizen          South Africa                  163.58
  3.         3                      Hideki Matsuyama         Japan                            155.16
  4.         4                      Adam Scott                   Australia                       151.62
  5.         5                      Haotong Li                   China                           128.63
  6.         8                      Cameron Smith             Australia                       122.97
  7.         7                      Jason Day                      Australia                       119.06
  8.         6                      C.T. Pan                       Chinese Taipei              118.90
  9.         9                      Jazz Janewattananond    Thailand                       111.54
  10.         10                    Abraham Ancer             Mexico                         111.45
  11.         11                    Justin Harding               South Africa                  107.15
  12.         12                    Shugo Imahira               Japan                            100.47
  13.         13                    Sungjae Im                    Korea                           94.60
  14.         14                    Sung Kang                    Korea                           94.05
  15.         15                    Adam Hadwin               Canada                         85.43


Rank   Last Week      Player                                Points

  1.          1                      Brooks Koepka                         8,179
  2.         2                      Dustin Johnson                         6,555
  3.         3                      Justin Thomas                           5,726
  4.         4                      Xander Schauffele                     5,656
  5.         5                      Matt Kuchar                             5,506
  6.         6                      Bryson DeChambeau                5,246
  7.         7                      Patrick Cantlay                          5,146
  8.         8                      Gary Woodland                        4,898
  9.         9                      Tony Finau                               4,820
  10.         11                    Webb Simpson                         4,749
  11.         10                    Rickie Fowler                           4,547
  12.        12                    Tiger Woods                            3,868
  13.         13                    Chez Reavie                             3,745
  14.         14                    Phil Mickelson                          3,548
  15.         15                    Charles Howell III                     3,424

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

Four Captain’s selections will be made at a to-be-determined later date.

About Richard Fellner

A four-time winner of the Australian Golf Media Awards, including Best Photojournalism, Best Opinion, Best Column and Best Photographic Presentation, Inside Golf Group Editor Richard Fellner is the quintessential Golf Tragic, having played the game for over 50 years (but has never gotten any better!) He has played and reviewed courses all over the world, and has interviewed many of the great players of the game (including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Greg Norman). Richard is a member of both the Australian Golf Media Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and has been a featured guest on many Australian "sports talk" radio shows and networks, including ABC Grandstand, SEN 1116, Melbourne Talk Radio 1377, 2GB and others. Follow Richard Fellner on Quora


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