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2012 PGA Championship Last Chance For Ryder Cup Hopefuls

Qualification for the 2012 Ryder Cup will wrap up with the PGA Championship this weekend, as the top eight Americans players in the two-year process will be automatically granted spots on the US team, which will try to win back the Cup in September.

Five players -- Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson -- are already assured spots. Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, sitting in spots six and seven, are probably in good shape headed into the weekend as well.

Where it gets interesting is the final spot, currently held by Phil Mickelson, who is only narrowly ahead of ninth-place Hunter Mahan. Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk will have to be in contention at Kiawah Island to move up from the tenth and eleventh spots in the standings, but Mahan and Mickelson are close enough that a very small shift at the PGA could end up being the difference.

Whoever loses out will have to depend on team captain Davis Love III, who has four discretionary captain's picks to round out the American team.

For more on the 2012 PGA Championship stay tuned to SB Nation Atlanta. For more news and notes on the PGA Tour head over to SB Nation's dedicated golf page.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.