Lowry on Ryder Cup brink despite Oakmont disappointment
 Shane Lowry plays his second shot on the 15th hole during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. on Sunday, June 19, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Darren Carroll)

Shane Lowry plays his second shot on the 15th hole during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. on Sunday, June 19, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Darren Carroll)

Shane Lowry is now on the brink of breaking into the European Ryder Cup team after his share of second place in the US Open catapulted him 10th in the race for nine automatic places in Darren Clarke’s European side.

While Graeme McDowell also made a move as he shared 18th place at Oakmont, climbing to 16th in the World Points List, Lowry’s finish gives him a great chance of making the team for Hazeltine via the world rankings.

“When I look back on this week, there will be a lot of positives to take from it, second place at the US Open, my best ever finish in a major, good World Ranking points this week,” said Lowry, who moved up 16 spots in the world rankings to 21st after earning 43.33 points.

“I’ve got more ahead for me now, and I feel like I'm hitting form at the right time.

“Hopefully, I can go back to Bridgestone and make a good show in my defense there. Then I've got obviously The Open and the PGA as well.”

Lowry is just 11.1 ranking points behind Andy Sullivan and depending on the number of rookies in the automatic places, he could give Clarke pause for thought if he needs a wildcard.

European Ryder Cup standings

As for McDowell, he has not yet secured his place in The Open though he appears likely to make it via the FedEx Cup rankings. And as he trails Sullivan by more than 29 world ranking points, he needs a big finish somewhere soon to get closet to the team with next week’s 100th Open de France top of his hit-list.

“The French Open is a big one on the radar, double Ryder Cup points, and a fantastic field there on a golf course I really like,” said McDowell, who won back to back at Le Golf National in 2013 and 2014. “I‘m taking some really good form into it.

“Not trying to put any pressure on myself. I do have a lot to do. I'm trying to stay patient. I’m trying to stay open minded.

“My schedule is French, Scotland, not in the Open Championship right now, but I’m right on the fringes, hoping to get in that one. I'll play the Canadian and the PGA as well. So that's my Ryder Cup run upcoming. That is a big goal of mine, of course.

“Hopefully, I can just stay patient and keep playing the way I'm playing and let some good stuff get in the way. I'm looking forward to it. Quite enjoying my golf at the minute.”