Shane Lowry made his first positive move up the world rankings for 10 weeks when he finished tied for 17th alongside Graeme McDowell in the Open de France.
The Offaly native, 25, moved up nine places to 152 and while that’s still 33 places lower than his position at the start of the year he heads to the Scottish Open this week with high hopes of making a last minute bid to qualify for The Open.
“Managed to keep my balls dry in France this week. First time in 4 years.,” he tweeted on leaving Paris.
Lowry has struggled for form since he finished sixth in the Sicilian Open in March and will have high hopes in Scotland following his share of 14th place last year.
The leading non-exempt player finishing in the top five at Castle Stuart will qualify for The Open with Germany’s Marcel Siem - the new world No 58 - taking the spot on offer at the Open de France on Sunday following his sensational victory at Le Golf National.
Shock Greenbrier Classic winner Ted Potter Jnr and runner up Troy Kelly qualified for Royal Lytham and St Annes in the US on Sunday with Potter jumping from 218th to 83rd in the rankings following his play-off victory.
Rory McIlroy, who is taking this week off to play links golf in preparation for the Open, remained as world No 2 with McDowell steady at 11th.
Padraig Harrington, who will tee it up in Scotland, remained 60th in the world while Darren Clarke’s failure to make the cut in Paris in his last start before his Claret Jug defence saw him fall two places to 84th.
Michael Hoey also missed the cut in France to fall out of the world’s top 100, down five places to 101st, while Peter Lawrie fell eight spots to 155th.
Dubliner Paul McGinley, who did not travel to France due to swelling in his right knee, rose one place to 251st.
The 45-year old was advised by his surgeon to rest his knee following a tough run of events on soft golf courses. But having climbed 221 places up the rankings this year, he will be chasing a place in the Open in Scotland.
Seven Irishmen will tee it up in Inverness with Harrington, Lowry, Lawrie, McGinley, Damien McGrane and Gareth Maybin joined by Newcastle resident Simon Thornton.
British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar, who was awarded a sponsor’s invitation following his win at Royal Troon, has decided to withdraw following a hectic recent run of events.
The Rathmore man will not be taking part in the North of Ireland Championship which begins at Royal Portrush today as he prepares for his major debut in the Open next week.