Shane Lowry's slim Ryder Cup hopes suffered a huge blow last night when Russell Knox captured the Travelers Championship and made himself a virtual shoo-in for a Ryder Cup wildcard.
The US based score holed a 12 footer for par on the 18th at TPC River Highlands for a 68 and a one shot win over Jerry Kelly.
The round might have been 10 shots more than Jim Furyk took in his historic 58 earlier in the day. But it still catapulted him 10 spots up the Ryder Cup World Points list and leaves him just six point adrift of Matt Fitzpatrick, who holds down he fifth spot from that list.
Four more will come from the European Ryder Cup Points list to make nine automatic qualifiers and with Knox now ahead of Soren Kjeldsen, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, Lowry and Graeme McDowell will have to do something extraordinary between now and the Made in Denmark tournament to force their way into captain Darren Clarke's plans for the three wildcards.
Q. Not that you're thinking about it in the moment, but Ryder Cup, do you feel like this made it enough of a statement to garner a pick? I know there's still some time left, but do you think you would be in if it wasn't for the technicality of not being a member, Shanghai?
RUSSELL KNOX: I thought about it on the last tee to be honest. I knew by winning this tournament, it's put Darren Clarke in a very difficult position not to pick me. I think -- but I mean, it's his decision. If I don't make the team, I can't think I'm worthy of a pick. It's his decision. He can pick whoever he wants, and that's the luxury of it. If I make the top nine, then I deserve to be on the team. If I'm No. 10, he can quite happily pass on me, and that's just the way it is.
Yeah, I mean, if my points would have counted in Shanghai and that puts me on the team, pretty hard position for him not to pick me. If I would have made it, if I was a member. But like I said, I hope I'm on the team. I would love to be there. It would be a huge honor. Maybe -- holing nice putts like that obviously helps.
Q. Can we claim you... if they don't take you?
RUSSELL KNOX: I am a U.S. citizen. My dad was born in California, so I have dual nationality. I'm not sure if there's ever been someone in my position before. But no, I'm Scottish down to the core, so I'll be on Team Europe hopefully.
As for Harrington, the Dubliner calculated that he needed a top 15 finish to climb high enough up the FedExCup standings (he reckoned 115th) that he would still be inside the Top 125 who qualify when he returns from Rio in a fortnight.
Level for the day with 10 holes to go, he was well outside that mark and while he birdied the ninth to get within a shot of the Top 15, he pressed hard on the back nine and made mistakes, leading to six dropped shots in seven holes before a birdie at the last gave him a closing 75.
After shooting 65 on Saturday, it would be tempting to fear that Harrington lost his Olympics mojo on Sunday but it appeared to be a combination of going for broke coupled with some mistakes rather than a collapse.
In the end, he finished tied 64th on one under and ended up losing ground in the FedExCup race by falling to 129th and out of contention for a place in the Playoffs.