Poulter boosts Ryder Cup hopes

Ian Poulter's joint third place in the USPGA Championship has taken him into an automatic qualifying spot in the European Ryder Cup race with a fortnight left.

Ian Poulter

Sergio Garcia falls out, but things could change yet. Garcia, who missed the cut at Kiawah Island, plays in the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina this week, as does 12th-placed Nicolas Colsaerts.

Also to come is the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles starting on Thursday week. Poulter and Garcia are not in that, but Colsaerts, USPGA surprise runner-up David Lynn and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello all are and there could be enough points on offer for them to make the side.

Captain Jose Maria Olazabal selects two wild cards the day after.

The eight American qualifiers were decided this weekend and there was no change, with Phil Mickelson keeping the final spot and therefore earning himself what will be a record ninth cap for the United States.

Their captain Davis Love has four wild cards to hand out on September 4, with Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker expected to get three of them and, as things stand, the fourth being between Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson.

Latest leading positions in the European Ryder Cup table (top five on European points list and top five not already qualified on the world points list qualify on August 26. Captain Jose Maria Olazabal then adds two wild cards):

(capitals indicate players in qualifying positions)

European points list: 1 RORY McILROY 4,050,287, 2 JUSTIN ROSE 2,602,909, 3 GRAEME McDOWELL 2,375,789, 4 PAUL LAWRIE 2,088,717, 5 FRANCESCO MOLINARI 2,062,525, 6 Peter Hanson 2,022,431, 7 Luke Donald 1,885,169, 8 Martin Kaymer 1,871,797, 9 Nicolas Colsaerts 1,733,163, 10 Lee Westwood 1,692,029.

World points list: 1 Rory McIlroy 468.81, 2 LUKE DONALD 363.46, 3 Justin Rose 322.33, 4 LEE WESTWOOD 280.27, 5 Graeme McDowell 262.62, 6 PETER HANSON 189.32, 7 Francesco Molinari 185.99, 8 Paul Lawrie 181.49, 9 MARTIN KAYMER 172.26, 10 IAN POULTER 171.64, 11 Sergio Garcia 158.85, 12 Nicolas Colsaerts 152.93, 13 David Lynn 141.58, 14 Rafa Cabrera Bello 140.45, 15 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 133.43.

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