Runners and Ryders: Poulter closes in on Team Europe spot

There are just three events left for Team Europe hopefuls to seal a spot at the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Ian Poulter   -  Getty Images

Ian Poulter moved into an automatic qualification spot for the 2018 Ryder Cup as Team USA's first eight members were confirmed.

Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn will likely pick Poulter if he does not make the line-up on merit, with the Englishman boasting a proud record in the event.

Opposite number Jim Furyk's squad for the trip to Le Golf National next month came into sharper focus after the conclusion of the US PGA Championship, won by American Brooks Koepka.

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods' impressive charge at Bellerive saw the 14-time major winner further cement his claim for a captain's pick as the visitors seek to retain the trophy on French soil.

Those vying for a spot in the hosts' team have three events left to acquire the necessary points or, alternatively, impress Bjorn to earn selection.

Read: No dual Ryder Cup role should Woods make USA team, says Furyk

Jon Rahm was the highest European finisher at the weekend, claiming a tie for fourth, with the Spaniard fifth in the continental points list while sitting third in the world standings.

Poulter, who finished tied for 31st on five under in Missouri, moved above compatriot Paul Casey in the world standings, the latter having missed the cut.

As for Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson, they will likely need captain's picks to feature in Paris. 

Furyk spoke on Monday about his excitement at Woods' resurgence, the 42-year-old having finished in a tie for sixth at The Open and outright second at the season's final major.

"It's great to see him playing well, numbers are nice but the not most important, we want players who can make us successful," he said.

The confirmed players for Furyk's team alongside Koepka are Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.


European points list (top four earn places)

1. FRANCESCO MOLINARI: 6,182,450.35
2. JUSTIN ROSE: 4,518,651.42
3. TYRRELL HATTON: 4,326,297.77
4. TOMMY FLEETWOOD: 3,668,310.57


5. Jon Rahm: 3,617,769.82
6. Thornbjorn Olesen: 3,497,483.32
7. Rory McIlroy: 3,482,791.06
8. Alex Noren: 3,444,442.21


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

1. Francesco Molinari: 373.12
2. Justin Rose: 366.69 
3. JON RAHM: 327.18
4. RORY MCILROY: 309.29
5. Tommy Fleetwood: 301.66
6. ALEX NOREN: 252.62
7. Tyrrell Hatton: 245.64
8. IAN POULTER: 168.19


9. Paul Casey: 167.05
10. Thorbjorn Olesen 166.21
11. Rafa Cabrera Bello: 163.73
12. Matt Fitzpatrick: 151.04

United States points list (top eight earn places)

1. BROOKS KOEPKA: 13,298.472
2. DUSTIN JOHNSON: 9,549.287
3. JUSTIN THOMAS: 8,929.122
4. PATRICK REED: 7,821.880
5. BUBBA WATSON: 5,584.137
6. JORDAN SPIETH: 5,481.427
7. RICKIE FOWLER: 5,006.112
8. WEBB SIMPSON: 4,534.745


9. Bryson DeChambeau: 4,316.108
10. Phil Mickelson: 4,207.953
11. Tiger Woods: 4,196.794
12. Xander Schauffele 3,924.096



European Tour: Nordea Masters, Hills Golf Club, Gothenburg
PGA Tour: Wyndham Championship, Greensboro, North Carolina