Fleetwood makes gains in Ryder Cup quest
Tommy Fleetwood gained more valuable Ryder Cup points as he closed the gap on Rory McIlroy in his quest to earn an automatic qualification spot on Team Europe at The 2018 Ryder Cup.
Fleetwood fired consecutive four under par 68’s on the weekend to finish in a tie for seventh at The Players’ Championship as the strong showing moved the Englishman into the top ten in the Official World Golf Rankings for the second time in his career. While the 27 year old did not improve his position of fifth on the World Points List, he did reduce the advantage McIlroy—who sits in fourth position— holds over him from 13.64 to 1.04 points.
Rafa Cabrera Bello was the other notable mover on the World Points list. The Spaniard fired eight under par over the weekend to finish on ten under and in a tie for 17th. The solid showing pushed him past Paul Dunne into 12th on the World Points List.
Ian Poulter, who is currently the highest ranked player not holding a qualification spot, continued his fine form with a tied 11th finish but was unable to make up significant ground on Alex Noren, who ended his week with a closing 66 to tie for 17th. Noren currently holds the eighth and final qualification spot.
There was no change atop the European Points List, however Eddie Pepperell’s final round 66 at the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open strengthened his position inside the top 20, as the European Tour enters the final week of regular point allocations this week at the Belgian Knockout.
The competition to qualify for Team Europe will intensify when point values are increased by 50 per cent to a factor of 1.5 beginning next week at the BMW PGA Championship. Current qualification spot holders Fleetwood, McIlroy, Noren, Tyrrell Hatton and Ross Fisher will represent the hunted at Wentworth as Poulter, Cabrera Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and a host of Europe’s elite seek to play their way into one of the eight automatic qualification spots.
The top four from both the European Points List and the World Points List after the Made In Denmark will earn an automatic berth onto Team Europe for The 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris. Captain Thomas Bjørn will then complete the team of 12 by adding four Captain’s picks.