FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Russell Knox knows that The Barclays represents his final chance to catch the eye of Darren Clarke.
While American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III won’t round out his 12-man roster with selections until next month, Clarke will make his three picks on Aug. 30 after the conclusion of this week’s event at Bethpage Black and the European Tour’s Made in Denmark.
Nine players have already clinched automatic qualifying spots, and both Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer appear to be consensus selections. That likely leaves only one more spot up for grabs, with Knox heading the list of contenders after his win earlier this month at the Travelers Championship. It was the second title of the PGA Tour season for the Scot, who feels prepared for either outcome.
“The great thing with captain’s picks is that he can choose whoever he wants and I’ll be OK with it,” Knox said Tuesday. “I feel like I’ve done everything I could do. I played my best. I made the commitment to join the European Tour so I was eligible. I played well. So I guess I’ve made my case, and hopefully it’s good enough.”
Knox indicated he hasn’t had much conversation with Clarke since The Players Championship, when the Ulsterman hosted a dinner for potential Ryder Cup rookies that also featured a “pep talk” from Rory McIlroy. While Clarke’s team will already include five rookies who qualified automatically, Knox hopes that his resume over the past 12 months will speak for itself.
“I mean, it’s important to me, but it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “If he chooses not to pick me, I’m not going to sulk in the corner.”
Knox barely missed qualifying for one of the automatic spots, but only because of a questionable technicality. His win at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China counted for world ranking and FedEx Cup purposes, but Knox didn’t receive any Ryder Cup points for the victory since he didn’t claim European Tour membership until after his win.
Had those points counted from China, Knox would have qualified comfortably – fourth on the world points list, bumping out Matthew Fitzpatrick. It’s a factor that the 31-year-old hopes Clarke takes into consideration when making his final selections.
“The way I’m going to look at it is, I won’t feel like I’m a pick in a weird kind of way,” he said. “If I’m lucky enough to get picked, I’ll feel like 10 people qualified and he picked two people. That’s the way I’m going to look at it to take pressure off myself. But yeah, that’s not my decision.”