Ian Poulter has climbed into an automatic qualifying spot for the European Ryder Cup team with just two weeks of the race to go.
The Englishman’s joint third place in the US PGA Championship, which for much of the final round looked like being much better, pushed Sergio Garcia out of the top 10.
But things could change yet. Garcia, who missed the cut at Kiawah Island, plays in the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina this week, as does 12th-placed Nicolas Colsaerts.
Also to come is the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles starting on August 23. Poulter and Garcia are not in that but Colsaerts, surprise US PGA runner-up David Lynn and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello all are and there could be enough points on offer for them to make the side.
Sweden’s Peter Hanson is currently eighth in the table and has been denied a wild-card for the Wyndham Championship, that invitation going to Colsaerts instead.
Hanson is hoping his Ryder Cup qualification bid will not come down to the Johnnie Walker Championship as it did for him two years ago, when he did make it into the team.
Colsaerts will also be back in Europe for that one, but for Garcia and Jacobson this week is their last chance to earn cup points because the first event of the FedEx Cup play-offs, the Barclays at Bethpage from August 23-26, does not count.
Europe team captain Jose Maria Olazabal completes the team by selecting two wild-cards on August 27 for the Medinah showpiece, which Europe are a best-priced 6/4 with Blue Square
to win outright.
Latest leading positions in the European Ryder Cup table (top 10 qualify automatically):
1 Rory McIlroy (NIrl)
2 Justin Rose (Eng)
3 Graeme McDowell (NIrl)
4 Paul Lawrie (Sco)
5 Francesco Molinari (Ita)
6 Luke Donald (Eng)
7 Lee Westwood (Eng)
8 Peter Hanson (Swe)
9 Martin Kaymer (Ger)
10 Ian Poulter (Eng)
11 Sergio Garcia (Spa)
12 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel)
13 David Lynn (Eng)
14 Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Spa)
15 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa)