Lowry edges closer to Ryder Cup selection as McIlroy’s world ranking slide continues

Bernie McGuire
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Lowry edges closer to Ryder Cup selection as McIlroy’s world ranking slide continues

Shane Lowry (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Shane Lowry continues to edge closer to earning automatic Ryder Cup selection as he heads into this week’s BMW Championship in Baltimore.

Lowry remains in fourth place among the top-four on the European ‘World’ ‘points who will qualify automatically for Padraig Harrington’s team but the better news is he has moved further clear of his nearest rival for selection off the ‘World’ table who is in sixth place following the Clara golfer’s T11th place finish in Monday’s concluding Northern Trust.

Lowry had been ahead of Robert MacIntyre, who was lying fifth but the Scot’s been overtaken by England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Frenchman Victor Perez, who are in a respective fifth and sixth on the ‘World’ points table.

That news is even better for Lowry as Fleetwood is assured a second straight European Team cap as he’s lying second on the ‘European’ points table meaning Lowry’s closest rival off the ‘World’ table is now Perez, with MacIntyre effectively seventh.

Lowry has the opportunity at this week’s BMW Championship, the second of the three PGA Tour Play-Off Series events, to go further ahead of MacIntyre and Perez as the duo are not competing in suburban Baltimore.

The Irishman also will be seeking to break into next week’s Tour Championship showdown in Atlanta by finishing this week among the top-30 on the FedEx Cup standings. Lowry picked-up 19 places to move to No. 47 following his efforts on Monday in New Jersey.

If Lowry does force his way into the Atlanta decider for the FedEx Cup, it will then present Lowry the chance to return to Europe a week later for the BMW PGA Championship from September 9-12, the final Ryder Cup qualifying event.

And with seven top-12s in both PGA and European Tour events this year, Lowry seems assured of one of Harrington’s three ‘wildcard’ picks should he fall short of qualifying automatically.

West Waterford’s Seamus Power now has a few weeks off after falling two spots shy in not progressing to this week’s BMW Championship. The reigning Barbasol Championship title-holder finished 72nd on the FedEx Cup standings with top-70 heading to Baltimore. Power posted a Northern Trust final round 70 for an eight-under par total and shared 31st place.

“It’s been a great week and my second time in the Playoffs, and really first time with a chance to advance to the penultimate tournament,” he said.

“So, it was different for me. These are the fields you want to be playing in. I wish I had my best game coming in here, give yourself a chance, but I was able to hang in there. Overall, it was a solid week, nothing special, but something to build on for next season.”

The ‘next’ season starts on September 10th with the Safeway Open in Napa, California. Power has contested the Safeway for four years running since his inaugural visit in 2017 though on each occasion he has missed the cut. Now with a two-year Tour exemption to the end of the 2022/23 season to pick and choose a schedule as he pleased, one would have a guess that Power ‘will not’ be travelling to California this time around.

And Rory McIlroy has now dropped to his highest world ranking in nearly 12-years after his T43rd result at the Northern Trust that’s seen fall to No.16 in the world. It is McIlroy’s highest ranking since November 2009 when he was ranked No. 17 following a lowly finish at the WGC – HSBC Champions event.

McIlroy got out of first gear once last week in the hurricane hit event that was a 66 on day three with McIlroy starting the final round with a horror double-bogey. Despite the poor effort, McIlroy retained his 28th standing on the FedEx Cup points table.
  • Ryder Cup standings HERE

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