The race for Ryder Cup placings has taken on a more interesting aspect with three major European players failing to make the cut. The win by Martin Kaymer at the US PGA Championship has seen Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Justin Rose all take a step back in the world rankings, meaning none have automatic places on the team.
With Captain Colin Montgomerie holding three wild car invitations to the team, each will be hopeful of a place, but it remains to be seen whether any of the stars will be dropped from the upcoming competition.
Harrington will be disappointed and frustrated to have missed the cut by less than £1000, while Donald has been usurped in the world standings – from which the first four players are taken – by Kaymer who has jumped to fifth in the list.
The European points list provides the remainder of the team, and Harrington has been jumped by Paul Casey, albeit by that narrow margin.
Interestingly, Casey – like Rose and Harrington – will not play in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in two weeks, and with this being the last tournament that counts towards the rankings all three are leaving themselves open to the decision of the captain.
It is a difficult decision for Montgomerie who must assemble the best possible selection of players to take on what will be a strong USA side, and with three wild cards to consider it is looking ever more likely that one or more of the major stars will not be in action at the Ryder Cup.
With Donald also electing to remain in the USA, the choice is one that no captain will relish. Currently Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell qualify from the world rankings list with Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Miguel Angel Jiminez and Paul Casey joining them in Ryder Cup action from the European list.