Bjorn making Olazabal take notice for Ryder Cup


European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal will pull 10 automatic qualifiers from two separate points lists. The top 5 players on the European Points List after the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will make the team (Click to view U.S. Ryder Cup standings).

Top 5 after the ISPS Handa Wales Open (points in parentheses):

1. Rory McIlroy (2,584,843.51)

2. Paul Lawrie (1,933,398.60)

3. Justin Rose (1,921,969.23)

4. Martin Kaymer (1,683,932.41)

5. Peter Hanson (1,665,798.93)

The five players are unchanged this week.

The next five players will be the highest five on the World Points List not already on the team. Currently, that handful of players would consist of the following in order of their position on the list (points in parentheses):

2. Luke Donald (324.26)

4. Lee Westwood (238.22)

5. Graeme McDowell (169.49)

9. Sergio Garcia (142.49)

10. Nicolas Colsaerts (121.94)

The list is unchanged from last week.

Olazabal will finalize his team by making two picks. Here are some players not currently inside the top five of either points list who deserve consideration:

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano: The Spaniard was part of a four-way tie for second place in Wales.

Michael Hoey: The Ulsterman missed the cut in difficult conditions at the Wales Open. His chances are slipping.

Ian Poulter: Poulter took the week off after a T-10 at the BMW PGA Championship.

Thomas Bjorn: Bjorn posted a T-2 finish at Celtic Manor, the last site of the Ryder Cup. That's a good omen.

Joost Luiten: A first mention for him on our watch list this year, but the Dutchman was part of the runner-up group in Wales and is 17th in European points.