Ryder Cup race heats up
With just two European Tour events remaining to qualify automatically for the 2016 European Ryder Cup Team the race to confirm a position at Hazeltine National is heating up, as Captain Darren Clarke prepares to announce his team on August 30.
Ryder Cup teammates Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson produced a historic showdown on the final day at the Olympic Men’s Golf Competition in Rio de Janeiro, winning gold and silver respectively, as golf completed its successful return to the games after an absence of 112 years.
With no qualifying points available at the Olympic tournament, the focus now shifts to the next two weeks on The European Tour, firstly at this week’s D+D Real Czech Masters before the year-long qualification race concludes next week at Made in Denmark. England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick currently occupies the final automatic qualification spot and he will be in action at both tournaments as he looks to firm up his position as the youngest member in Clarke’s 12 man team.
If all goes to plan, the two-time European Tour Champion will be set for his Ryder Cup debut next month but he has a group of players hoping to edge him out. Knocking at the door, and hoping for one final pushover the next two weeks are several other Ryder Cup hopefuls including Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who defends his title in Prague this week having finished fourth in Rio, and Lee Westwood, who joins Pieters in the Czech capital. Ireland’s Shane Lowry, Germany’s Martin Kaymer, and England’s Tyrrell Hatton, alongside Denmark’s Søren Kjeldsen, will then be in action next week at Himmerland Golf Club, where captain Clarke is also in the field.
Russell Knox’s recent one-shot victory at the Travelers Championship gave the Scot a significant boost on the World Points List, moving him into tenth position - 12th place overall - and strengthening his credentials for a possible wildcard pick.