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Lowry on cusp of Ryder Cup berth after U.S. Open

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Shane Lowry wasn't able to nab his breakthrough major victory at the U.S. Open, but a runner-up finish moved the Irishman to the cusp of securing his first Ryder Cup berth.

Lowry entered Oakmont at No. 22 in the European Points list and No. 24 in the World Points list, and after finishing three shots behind Dustin Johnson he is now No. 10 on both lists. He is most likely to qualify via the European Points list, where his 106.51 points are less than 11 points behind Andy Sullivan, who currently holds the ninth and final automatic qualifying spot.

The four players currently projected to qualify for the European team via World Points are Danny Willett, Rory McIlroy, Chris Wood and Matthew Fitzpatrick. The five players projected to qualify via European Points are Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Sullivan.

It's an interesting development for Lowry, who earlier this month confirmed his plans to defend his title at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational next week in lieu of the Open de France, a decision he partially attributed to the fact that he was too far down in the Ryder Cup standings. Because the European Tour isn't sanctioning the event in Akron, he won't earn any Ryder Cup points in his title defense, while double Ryder Cup points are offered the same week in Paris.

On the American side of the standings, Brooks Koepka and Zach Johnson made moves after T-13 and T-8 finishes at Oakmont, respectively. The eight players currently projected to qualify for Davis Love III's team at Hazeltine are Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker and Rickie Fowler.

Patrick Reed is currently ninth, one spot out of automatic qualification, while the bubble also includes Matt Kuchar, J.B Holmes, Daniel Berger and Jason Dufner at Nos. 10-13.

The Ryder Cup will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Chaska, Minn.