CHICAGO -- Bo Van Pelt has yet to sneak a peek at the Ryder Cup points list. Honest.
"If you put too much emphasis on (points)," he said during the Masters, "you're probably not going to perform. The best thing to do is try to win golf tournaments."
Van Pelt ended up shooting the low round of the tournament. His final-round 64 earned him a tie for 17th place, a check for $124,000 and 248 Ryder Cup points.
That's two for every $1,000 earned. Regular PGA Tour events yield one point for every $1,000 earned.
With four months left to accrue points -- the Aug. 9-12 PGA Championship is the final event -- Van Pelt ranks 17th with 1,382 points.
If Bubba Watson could convert his Ryder Cup points to airline travel, he could fly first-class to anywhere on the planet. He's at 4,717 after winning the green jacket.
The top eight Americans get automatic spots on the team, which will duel Europe at Medinah Country Club on Sept. 28-30. Davis Love III will reveal his four captain's picks Sept. 4 in New York.
Van Pelt has played Medinah only once, in a practice round for the 2006 PGA Championship. Son Crew was born the week before the event, so Van Pelt pulled out. He figures practicing there this summer would be putting the cart before the horse.
"Just worry about your game and getting there," he said. "Then once you get there, get ready to go."
Mark Wilson plans to hit Medinah in June to practice. Then again, he lives in Elmhurst, about 20 minutes from the club.
Wilson has won five times on tour and finished third in the World Golf Championships Match Play in Arizona in February. He beat Van Pelt, Robert Rock, Dustin Johnson and Lee Westwood (in the consolation match) -- good prep for the Ryder Cup.
Wilson hopes to earn a spot by climbing from his current 11th (1,951 points) into the top eight.
"It would be really cool," he said. "I've never been a part of one of those teams. And to have it also be in Chicago would make it extra special."
David Toms is 24th in points (850) but should get heavy consideration as a captain's pick if he's sharp this summer. The even-keeled veteran played on the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Ryder Cup teams (4-6-2 record) and went 3-1 for the victorious 2011 Presidents Cup team.
"I think most guys think about (the Ryder Cup points), especially if they have a good week," Toms said. "Then they'll look and see if they moved up.
"For guys who have been there before, you know what you're missing if you're not part of it. The other guys hear all about it. It's certainly in the back of everybody's mind."
Toms, also a potential assistant captain, said if he doesn't make the team, "I'm sure I will be there, rooting them on."
His caddie, Scott Gneiser, is a member at Medinah. Toms joked that Gneiser's course knowledge has not helped his game, but he did tie for 16th in the 2006 PGA after missing the cut there in 1999.
"We never played worth a flip there," Toms said, "so it's not like it's a great golf course for me."