Rory McIlroy joins the automatic places
In a week which saw European Tour cards on the line at the Portugal Masters, Rory McIlroy jumped inside the automatic qualification spots on the World Points List after a tied-third place finish at the ZOZO Championship on the PGA Tour.
Rounds of 72, 65, 63 and 67 saw the Northern Irishman finish at 13 under par, six strokes behind Tiger Woods – who won his 82nd PGA Tour title to tie Sam Snead’s long-standing record.
With another strong showing, McIlroy, a five-time member of Team Europe, continued the consistent form which has been a hallmark of his 2019 campaign.
Should he go on to qualify, it will mark his sixth consecutive appearance for Team Europe and offer a chance to improve his 11-9-4 match record.
Steven Brown, winner of the 2019 Portugal Masters, also jumped into the automatic places after a scintillating performance that saw him not only become a first-time European Tour winner but also secure his playing rights for 2020.
The Englishman started the week well outside the top 115 cut-off mark, but the victory moved him up to 69th in the Race to Dubai Rankings and earned him a berth in the limited field, 70-player Rolex Series event, the Turkish Airlines Open.
As it stands, McIlroy jumps to the top of the World Points List with 33.99 points, while Rafa Cabrera-Bello (31.89), Matthew Fitzpatrick (30.44), Matthew Southgate (30.00) and Brown (26.88) make up the remaining four spots.
There was no change on the European Ryder Cup Points List, meaning Danny Willett (1,298.69) still tops qualifying, followed by Bernd Wiesberger (1,253.72), Jon Rahm (1,240.00) and Victor Perez (975.58).