Knox win complicates Euro Ryder Cup bubble


Russell Knox rallied to win the Travelers Championship, and the impact of his victory could be felt across Europe.

Knox entered the week at No. 20 on the World Points list for European Ryder Cup qualification, but after his one-shot victory at TPC River Highlands he's expected to jump to No. 10. That puts him firmly on the bubble for Hazeltine, and after two PGA Tour wins this season, the Scot feels he has now distinguished himself as a potential captain's pick.

"I knew by winning this tournament, it's put (European captain) Darren Clarke in a very difficult position not to pick me," Knox said. "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."

The European Ryder Cup team is compiled from two separate points lists. The top four on the European Points list on Aug. 28 will qualify automatically, as will the top five from the World Points list not otherwise exempt. That will leave Clarke with three picks with which to round out his roster of 12.

Knox, 31, has never played in the Ryder Cup before, and the current standings include five potential rookies in line to qualify automatically: Danny Willett, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Chris Wood, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan.

But Knox's case is further complicated by the fact that he didn't receive any points for his win earlier this season at the WGC-HSBC Champions. Knox only became a European Tour member after the win, and his points were not applied retroactively just as Shane Lowry did not receive any FedEx Cup points for his win last year at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Had Knox gotten credit for his win in China, he'd likely be in position to qualify automatically following his Travelers victory.

"If my points would have counted in Shanghai and that puts me on the team, pretty hard position for him not to pick me," Knox said. "But like I said, I hope I'm on the team. I would love to be there. It would be a huge honor."

Other notable names currently on the outside of the Ryder Cup bubble and potentially in need of a pick include Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Soren Kjeldsen and Shane Lowry.