Jeff Shain takes a look at Russell Knox’s Ryder Cup prospects following his impressive play in the opening two legs of a three-event Rolex Series stretch.
In Russell Knox’s first two starts on European soil this year, he shared runner-up honors in France before his winning heroics at the DDF Irish Open.
He’ll need to add to that to lock down an an automatic spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup squad.
“My goal is to try and win this week, try to win The Open, try to win every event I’m playing in, and then The Ryder Cup is ultimately a reward of good play,” said Knox at a press conference on Wednesday at Gullane Golf Club in advance of the ASI Scottish Open.
He still remains four slots away from automatic qualification by either of Europe’s qualifying points lists. Four qualify on points earned in European Tour starts, with four more via world ranking points earned during the qualifying period.
The good news is that Knox zoomed to No.8 on the European Tour list, but still needs to leapfrog Thorbjorn Oleson, Jon Rahm, Alex Noren and Francesco Molinari. He’s 12th on the world list, with Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia among those ahead of him.
“I’ve still got these massive events to go beforehand, so it’s going to be a reward of what happens from now till then if I’m good enough,” continued Knox.
“If I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve it. It’s that simple. Last week was amazing, it’s put me right there but it’s all about from the day to the day the team is picked.
“If I play good in that stretch, I deserve to make it and if I don’t, I don’t deserve it. It’s a reward of these next couple months to make The Ryder Cup Team.
“So my goal is to play well this week in Scotland.”
In his last four starts (Win-Irish Open, T2-Open de France, T38-Travelers, T12-U.S. Open), Knox has racked up 106.76 of the 134.58 total points he’s accumulated, starting in 2017.
Knox noted, “Yes, two weeks ago, it was miles away. Now, it’s not miles away, and I know I’m trending in the right direction.”
2018 RYDER CUP STANDINGS: EUROPE’S WORLD POINTS
1. *Justin Rose (1) 290.39
2. Jon Rahm (2) 278.63
3. *Tommy Fleetwood (3) 257.00
4. Alex Noren (4) 237.56
5. Rory McIlroy (5) 229.02
6. *Tyrrell Hatton (6) 207.81
7. *Francesco Molinari (7) 193.69
8. Paul Casey (8) 153.44
9. Matthew Fitzpatrick (9) 141.78
10. Sergio Garcia (10) 140.90
11. Ian Poulter (11) 137.62
12. Russell Knox (21) 134.58
* already top four via European Tour points