Hovland joins the automatic places
Norway’s Viktor Hovland moved into the final qualifying spot on the World Points List after finishing in a tie for sixth at the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers on the European Tour.
In a tournament won by World Number One Dustin Johnson, two-time PGA TOUR winner Hovland fired rounds of 68-66-67-68 to finish comfortably inside the top ten and pick up valuable Ryder Cup points as he bids to make his debut for Team Europe at Whistling Straits.
The World Number 13 is certainly in good form, with this top six finish coming just a week after a runner up finish at the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA TOUR.
A jump of four places in the World Points List to 90.27 points currently sees the 23-year-old qualify in the final automatic spot and should he do so, he would become the first Norwegian to represent Europe at The Ryder Cup.
Five-time Team Europe player Justin Rose fired a final round of 65 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to finish in a tie for second alongside Tony Finau and, in turn, made a huge leap in both the European Points List and the World Points List.
The runner-up finish saw the three-time Ryder Cup winner move up 19 places in the European Points List (1,265.53 points) to 19th position and up 17 places in the World Points List (78.93 points) into 14th position.
France’s Victor Perez only improved his chances of making his Ryder Cup debut in Wisconsin, USA, after finishing in a tie for fourth at Royal Greens G&CC.
The Frenchman was Johnson’s nearest challenger for much of the final round but finished the week three strokes back of the champion after rounds of 67-66-66-69.
Perez, who has one European Tour victory to his name, is presently fifth on the European Points List with 3,025.15 points and would currently qualify in the first automatic spot on the World Points List as he sits in fifth with 136.66 points.
There were also strong performances for Tyrrell Hatton and Rasmus Højgaard as they both finished in the four-way tie for sixth.
This finish was enough for 2018 Ryder Cup rookie Hatton to move to the top of the European Points List with 4,373.64 points.
As for Højgaard, he’ll be looking to make his full Ryder Cup debut after representing Europe in The Junior Ryder Cup in 2018.
Last season, he became the third youngest winner in European Tour history, the fastest Dane to a European Tour title – beating 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn – and the second-youngest player in European Tour history to record multiple wins.
Hatton (4,373.64 points), Tommy Fleetwood (4,364.66 points), Jon Rahm (3,747.50 points) and Rory McIlroy (3,29.44 points) sit in the automatic qualification places on the European Points List.
Meanwhile, Perez (136.66 points), Paul Casey (119.50 points), Danny Willett (99.92 points), Matthew Fitzpatrick (96.87 points) and Hovland (90.27 points) will qualify via the World Points List.