Piers Morgan plays a round of golf with Dan Walker
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An ankle injury has forced golfer Patrick Reed to withdraw from this week’s The Northern Trust playoff event, placing his hopes of qualifying for the US Ryder Cup team in jeopardy. It is the second time in as many weeks ‘Captain America’ has pulled out of a tournament.
Reed was due to tee off on Thursday as part of a 124-strong field at Liberty National, but play had to continue with one player fewer when his withdrawal was announced.
The 31-year-old also pulled out of the Wyndham Championship last week. No reason was given officially, but the cause of his absence was reported to be a sprain to his left ankle.
The American is 22nd in the FedExCup standings, but is expected to drop to 27th following his latest withdrawal.
The US team’s qualification deadline for the Ryder Cup, which is due to begin at Whistling Straits on the bank of Lake Michigan on September 24, is fast approaching.
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Reed will need to take part in and perform well at the BMW Championship next week if he is to have any hope of qualifying for the US team through rankings placement.
Six positions in the 12-strong US team will be taken from the top six prize money winners in a select number of PGA Tour events in 2020 and 2021.
Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson have already secure their spots, meaning there are just four more places to play for.
Captain Steve Stricker might just be able to offer Reed a lifeline if he does not qualify, though, as he has reserved the other six spots on the US team for his own selection.
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It could be a boost for Team Europe if the American skipper does choose to omit Reed, as his Captain America moniker came from a famous victory over Rory McIlroy at the 2016 Ryder Cup.
As it stands, Morikawa and Johnson will be joined in the qualification spots by Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele, who won gold at Tokyo 2020.
For the Europeans, Jon Rahm is a shoo-in while Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rory McIlroy make up the rest of the qualifying spots.
Five more names will be selected based on ranking in the World Points list, while the other three will be picked by Padraig Harrington.
Nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups have been won by Europe, though the USA has won two of the last three held Stateside – denied only by the so-called ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012.
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