Standing on the 14th hole, Rickie Fowler wasn't thinking about the Ryder Cup implications of his round.
"I wasn't trying to get a decent finish,'' Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press reported. ''I was trying to win." But after carding two bogeys and a double-bogey against one birdie in his final four holes, Fowler failed to qualify for one of the eight automatic bids onto the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Fowler needed a top-three finish to secure his spot on the roster and came into the final round with a one stroke lead. Instead it was Patrick Reed who raised the trophy at the Barclays Championship and sealed a Ryder Cup bid.
Fowler can still join the team as one of four captain's picks. The next two weeks bring two more high profile tournaments during the Fedex Cup playoffs and are Fowler's best two opportunities to impress Captain Davis Love III before he makes three of his four selections on Monday, Sept. 12. Love will make his final selection on Sept. 25 after the Tour Championship.
When asked about his captain's pick candidacy, here's what Fowler had to say to Steve DiMeglio of USA Today Sports:
“It's not for me to worry about right now,” Fowler said about being a captain’s pick. “I've just got to go out and get ready to play next week. Coming off a win there last year, I feel like I'm in a good spot. I played great this week, and I'm not worried about my resumé or anything like that. I've just got to continue to work on the game, continue getting better."
The case for Fowler as one of these four picks is fairly easy to make.
Despite not tallying a win, Fowler has an impressive six top-10 finishes on Tour this season, including two at WGC events. He's tallied enough points to place 11th in the American standings, and third among those not already on the roster. And his best golf of the year could be ahead of him. If he can continue to show good form in the next two weeks, there's no question he's one of the most talented players remaining in the pool of possible selections.
He also has the experience of two previous Ryder Cups to draw on. And while his 0-4-4 record won't turn any heads, he played the red-hot Rory McIlroy to two ties in 2014 in partnership with Jimmy Walker, who he could potentially pair with again this year.