Wiesberger closing in on automatic qualifying places
Bernd Wiesberger’s second place finish at the Omega European Masters has moved the Austrian into fifth place on the European Points List with 4,692.45 points, just 117.72 points behind Rory McIlroy who qualifies in the fourth and final qualifying position.
The eight-time European Tour winner fired rounds of 67-67-69-65 to finish in solo second, but it could have been a ninth Tour win had the Austrian not made double bogey on his final hole.
With two weeks remaining before the qualification race ends, Wiesberger now sits in a strong position to make a move into the automatic places.
And with the Tour heading to 2023 Ryder Cup venue Marco Simone next week for the DS Automobiles Italian Open – an event Wiesberger won in 2019 – he will no doubt be high on confidence.
If Wiesberger can replicate his form in Switzerland over the closing two qualifying events, he could displace McIlroy in the final qualifying spot on the European Points List. McIlroy would then qualify via the World Points List, where he’s currently in second position, which in turn would see Ireland’s Shane Lowry out of the automatic qualifying reckoning.
Should he make Captain Pádraig Harrington’s team at Whistling Straits, it would be Wiesberger’s debut appearance on Team Europe.
Elsewhere, there was a strong European showing at the BMW Championship – the penultimate event in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs.
McIlroy finished in solo fourth position after rounds of 64-70-65-67 to card his seventh top 10 finish of the calendar year, with Europe’s all-time leading points scorer Sergio Garcia two strokes further back in a tie for sixth.
This finish sees Garcia move up four places on the World Points List and into 12th position with 188.75 points.
Jon Rahm finished in a tie for ninth place after rounds of 64-66-70-70.
In fact, the World Number One has finished inside the top 10 in 13 of his 18 starts this year, including a first Major victory at the U.S. Open.
Form that Harrington will no doubt be wanting to see at Whistling Straits in September.
2018 Ryder Cup rookie Alex Noren also finished in a tie for ninth after rounds of 71-66-67-66, moving up three places on the World Points List into 17th with 149.62 points.
As it stands Rahm (10,122.82 points), Tommy Fleetwood (5,483.52 points), Tyrrell Hatton (5,242.76 points) and McIlroy (4,810.17 points) fill the automatic places on the European Points List.
Viktor Hovland (335.96 points), Paul Casey (323.10 points), Matt Fitzpatrick (281.66 points), Lee Westwood (258.95 points) and Lowry (239.41 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.