You can bet that Ryder Cup captains Darren Clarke and Davis Love III had their antennae up during Sunday’s golf developments. Russell Knox’s victory at the Travelers Championship and Jim Furyk’s PGA Tour record 58 will no doubt get each player on his potential captain’s short list as time runs down for Clarke and Love to make their wild-card picks.
Knox, a Scot who lives in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., has made it quite clear by keeping membership on the European Tour that he is keen to play for the European side at Hazeltine National at the end of September. Going into Sunday, Knox was 20th on the world points list, one of two lists that determine Clarke’s first nine automatic qualifiers.
Now that Knox has won twice on the PGA Tour, Clarke will exhale smoke from one of his famous cigars to see which way the wind is blowing where Knox is concerned.
Furyk has played in eight consecutive Ryder Cups and a ninth didn’t look very promising when he had surgery on his left wrist in February and was out for three months.
The Americans have lost six of the last seven Ryder Cups. But the 58 was just one round, magical though it was, and Furyk is 46, a number that Love can’t love.
Anthony Wall is 41 and has never played in a Ryder Cup and likely never will. But he patiently waited for a record 16 years for his second European Tour title, a 1-up victory over Alex Noren in the Paul Lawrie Match Play.
And the men’s Olympic tournament begins Thursday in Rio. Suppose Rory McIlroy will be watching?