Runners and Ryders: Molinari on the charge for Europe
The Ryder Cup is now just four months away and the race for points is heating up, with Francesco Molinari benefiting at Wentworth.
Francesco Molinari's sensational win at the BMW PGA Championship launched the Italian into the automatic qualifying spots for Europe's Ryder Cup team.
Molinari carded a four-under-par 68 in the final round at Wentworth to finish on 17 under, holding off the challenge of potential team-mate Rory McIlroy to win by two strokes.
The victory moves Molinari into fourth place on the European points list for the biennial tournament, and leaves him in a strong position to make a third Ryder Cup appearance in his career.
Molinari's triumph was a timely one with the tournament marking the first week where qualifying points are multiplied by 1.5, giving greater weighting to events taking place closer to the Ryder Cup.
The European team comprises the top four players from the European list, the top four on the world list not already qualified and four wildcard picks.
Justin Rose was also a winner over the weekend, clinching the Fort Worth Invitational on the PGA Tour, but he did not earn additional points due to a ruling whereby no points are awarded from tournaments held anywhere else in the world in the same week as a Rolex Series event on the European Tour.
There was no movement in the top 10 of the United States qualifying list this week, with Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar remaining closest to the last automatic spot occupied by Phil Mickelson.
Four months today... pic.twitter.com/yE9tERGS0m— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) May 28, 2018
European points list (top four earn places)
1. TYRRELL HATTON: 3,096,447.75
2. JUSTIN ROSE: 2,961,330.27
3. RORY MCILROY: 2,155,801.95
4. FRANCESCO MOLINARI: 2,123,430.97
5. Jon Rahm: 2,088,832.87
6. Ross Fisher: 1,753,993.16
7. Matthew Fitzpatrick: 1,671,446.01
World points list (top four not already qualified via European Points list earn places)
1. Justin Rose: 270.14
2. JON RAHM: 248.36
3. Rory McIlroy: 216.99
4. Tyrrell Hatton: 176.17
5. TOMMY FLEETWOOD: 164.04
6. ALEX NOREN: 155.71
7. Francesco Molinari: 152.61
8. SERGIO GARCIA: 126.63
9. Matthew Fitzpatrick: 119.46
10. Ian Poulter: 118.90
11. Rafael Cabrera Bello: 110.52
United States points list (top eight earn places)
1. PATRICK REED: 6,728.501
2. JUSTIN THOMAS: 6,352.273
3. DUSTIN JOHNSON: 5,161.597
4. JORDAN SPIETH: 4,759.238
5. BUBBA WATSON: 4,102.303
6. RICKIE FOWLER: 3,815.197
7. BROOKS KOEPKA: 3,712.548
8. PHIL MICKELSON: 3,673.247
9. Webb Simpson: 3,622.307
10. Matt Kuchar: 3,211.860
11. Brian Harman: 2,793.115