Lowry edges closer to sealing Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits
Shane Lowry edged closer to fulfilling his dreams of a Ryder Cup debut after a tied 11th finish at The Northern Trust on the PGA TOUR elevated the Irishman up one spot on the World Points List for Pádraig Harrington’s European team, into seventh with 232.21 points.
The former Open Champion still claims the final automatic spot on the World Points List but moved a further 17.32 points ahead of nearest competitor Victor Perez, while also leapfrogging Tommy Fleetwood who currently qualifies via the European Points List.
After opening his account with rounds of 71 and 67 to comfortably make the cut, Lowry then powered up the leaderboard after a nine-under-par third round 62, which included eight birdies and an eagle.
A final round 72 would see Lowry finish just outside the top 10 in the first event of the FedExCup Play-offs.
Jon Rahm was in contention for much of the tournament and, after rounds of 63-67-67, he would enter the final day tied for the lead with Australia’s Cameron Smith.
He would remain tied for the lead thanks to back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 and the four-time Rolex Series winner entered the final stretch four-under-par for the day.
However, bogies at 15 and 18 saw Rahm fall two strokes shy of eventual winner Tony Finau, who defeated Smith in a play-off.
Rahm, who made his Ryder Cup debut in 2018, currently qualifies in first place on the European Points List with 10,122.82 points but also tops the World Points List with 731.34 points.
The only other European to finish inside the top ten was 2018 Ryder Cup star Alex Noren thanks to rounds of 69-64-70-66.
This was good enough for a tied fourth finish while also moving up five places on the World Points List into 20th place with 129.46 points.
As it stands Rahm (10,122.82 points), Fleetwood (5,483.52 points), Tyrrell Hatton (5,242.76 points) and Rory McIlroy (4,810.17 points) fill the automatic places on the European Points List.
Viktor Hovland (325.16 points), Paul Casey (318.28 points), Matt Fitzpatrick (281.66 points), Lee Westwood (252.26 points) and Lowry (232.21 points) currently occupy the World Points List spots.
Harrington will decide on his three Captain’s Picks after the conclusion of the BMW PGA Championship – the third Rolex Series event of the season – which takes place at Wentworth Golf Club from September 9-12.