The Latest: Ryder Cup spots in sight at PGA Championship

August 07, 2018 - 11:50 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest from the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

The scoreboards for the PGA Championship aren't the only ones worth watching this week.

That's because the tournament at Bellerive is the last points-paying event for the U.S. team for the Ryder Cup, and a crucial opportunity for European players to impress captain Thomas Bjorn.

Justin Thomas clinched the fourth U.S. spot by winning the Bridgestone last week, and Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson hold the other four automatic slots. But with a big point total at stake this week, those spots on captain Jim Furyk's team are still in play.

Regardless of who makes the team for the matches this September, British Open winner Francesco Molinari predicted Tuesday the American team will be "one of the strongest ever."

"We need to get there prepared and ready to go," he said, "and make life hard on them."

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9:30 a.m.

The withering heat that greeted players for the PGA Championship this week, and left them soaked in sweat after Monday practice rounds, has given way to thunderstorms and torrential rains.

Now, those who tried to get on the course at Bellerive are simply soaked.

The storms are particularly unwelcome for those arriving from last week's Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio. Many squeezed in a practice round Monday, but nearly all hoped to do the bulk of their preparation at relatively unfamiliar Bellerive on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Justin Thomas is the defending champion, Tiger Woods is set to play his first PGA since 2015 and Jordan Spieth will be chasing the career Grand Slam when the tournament begins Thursday.

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