After a second top-10 in the majors this year, Sepp Straka can surely start packing his bags for Rome.
The 30-year-old Austrian-born Straka produced a closing final round 69 to share second place in the 151st Open Championship and this effort after sharing seventh earlier this year in the PGA Championship.
The reigning John Deere Classic champion has now surely shown enough this year, and importantly at Royal Liverpool to earn his place on the Luke Donald’s European Team.
A second round 67 included six inward half birdies, and Straka backed-up with weekend rounds of 70 and 69 to finish joint runner-up in golf’s oldest major which must have brought a smile to Donald’s face on a final day leaderboard that saw five European Team certainties inside the top-20. They included Spaniard Jon Rahm who also tied second, Rory McIlroy sixth, Tommy Fleetwood T10th, Viktor Hovland T13th and Tyrrell Hatton T20th.
There were other potential Rome rookies in the limelight too such as Frenchman Antione Rozner also T20th and Poland’s Adrien Meronk a stroke further back in a share of 23rd.
The Georgia-based Straka, who now moves to World No. 25 could not be timing his impressive run of form better with just some six weeks left before the end of European Team qualifying.
“Very happy. I’ve not had a whole lot of success with links golf in the past and I haven’t had a lot of experience, so being able to take kind of my best game into links golf, I was able to gain a lot of experience, and yeah, really happy to have a good week here,” he said at Royal Liverpool.
“As for the Ryder Cup? I don’t know about that, but I feel like my game is in a good place. I’ve got a couple more months of tournaments to take advantage of the good play, and hopefully I can do that.
“Of course I’d like to go to Rome, absolutely.
“Playing the Ryder Cup would be huge. It would be amazing. It’s been a huge goal. Over the last year and a half really it’s been on my radar, and really looking forward to having a chance”.
And Straka also revealed he had spoken to Donald ahead of The Open.
“Luke was here earlier this week in the practice rounds. He came and saw me on one of the days. I can’t remember which day, yeah,” said Straka. “It was just small talk for the most part. Scheduling, all that stuff. Yeah, nothing too substantial.
“I know it’s not my decision. I think he knows that’s not me — I want to be on the team, and hopefully I can show that with my golf.
“He’s told me I’ve been on his radar for a while now, and hopefully I can take advantage of some good play the next few months and make the decision easy for him.”