Runners and Ryders: Knox and Na close in on automatic slots

After their respective wins on the European and PGA Tours, Russell Knox and Kevin Na are both close to automatic Ryder Cup selection.

Russell Knox celebrates his Irish Open win   -  Getty Images

For the second week running, Russell Knox significantly enhanced his hopes of earning a maiden Ryder Cup appearance as he won the European Tour's Irish Open.

Having boosted his cause with a second-placed finish at Le Golf National - this year's Ryder Cup venue - seven days earlier, Knox produced a stunning finish to pip Ryan Fox at Ballyliffin Golf Club, holing two long-range putts on the 18th green to secure victory in a play-off.

As a result, Knox has leapt up to eighth on the European points list - from which the top four gain automatic selection. He has also climbed to 12th in the world points standings, with the top four from that list who are not already qualified earning places in Thomas Bjorn's line-up. That means Knox is effectively behind only Matt Fitzpatrick and Thorbjorn Olesen when it comes to players not currently in the team.

READ: Mickelson 'wasn't really thinking' as he incurred bizarre penalty

Regardless of whether he breaks into Europe's eight automatic spots, Knox has certainly improved his chances of earning a wildcard pick at the very least.

And, it is a similar story for Kevin Na, who ended a seven-year win drought on Sunday with a commanding victory in A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier.

Na has risen from 36th to 13th on the US points list and is now within striking distance of the last automatic qualifying spot currently held by Bryson DeChambeau.

ALSO READ: Lahiri slips in third round, but still in fray at Greenbrier

European points list (top four earn places)

1. TYRRELL HATTON: 3,677,719.42
2. JUSTIN ROSE: 3,307,263.76
3. TOMMY FLEETWOOD: 3,240,727.58
4. FRANCESCO MOLINARI: 3,225,221.47


5. Alex Noren: 3,202,412.56
6. Jon Rahm: 2,841,751.23
7. Thorbjorn Olesen: 2,610,663.99
8. Russell Knox: 2,473,179.71

ALSO READ: Kraft fires 63 to lead at Greenbrier

World points list (top four not already qualified via European Points list earn places)

1. Justin Rose: 290.39
2. JON RAHM: 278.63
3. Tommy Fleetwood: 257.00
4. ALEX NOREN: 237.56
5. RORY MCILROY: 229.02

6. Tyrrell Hatton: 207.81
7. Francesco Molinari: 193.69
8. PAUL CASEY: 153.44


9. Matt Fitzpatrick 141.78
10. Sergio Garcia: 140.90
11. Ian Poulter: 137.62
12. Russell Knox: 134.57

ALSO READ: Red-hot Van Rooyen takes control in Ballyliffin

United States points list (top eight earn places)

1. BROOKS KOEPKA: 8,919.409
2. DUSTIN JOHNSON: 7,809.287
3. PATRICK REED: 7,639.916
4. JUSTIN THOMAS: 6,727.053
5. BUBBA WATSON: 5,509.387
6. JORDAN SPIETH: 4,819.806
7. RICKIE FOWLER: 4,519.527


9. Webb Simpson: 4,046.058
10. Phil Mickelson: 3,994.703
11. Matt Kuchar: 3,386.946


Next up

European Tour: Scottish Open, Gullane
PGA Tour: John Deere Classic, TPC Deere Run

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :