Lee Westwood questions the structure of Europe’s Ryder Cup qualifying system

Shane Lowry puts himself right in the mix at Wentworth with second-round 66

 Ireland’s Shane Lowry plays his second shot from the rough on the seventh  hole during the second round of the  BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Ireland’s Shane Lowry plays his second shot from the rough on the seventh hole during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

Lee Westwood questioned the structure of Europe’s Ryder Cup qualifying system as captain Pádraig Harrington looked set to face a selection headache at the BMW PGA Championship.

Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat added a 68 to his opening 64 at Wentworth to post a halfway total of 12 under par and lead by one from England’s Laurie Canter, with Adam Scott on 10 under and Justin Rose another stroke back.

But it was the constantly fluctuating battle to make the team for Whistling Straits which continued to dominate the agenda at a final qualifying event in which Harrington’s accountancy qualifications were set to prove very useful.

Westwood and Shane Lowry’s places are under serious threat from Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, who would overtake Rory McIlroy in the European points list with a top-50 finish or better.

That would mean McIlroy qualified via the world points list instead of Lowry, who in turn could knock Westwood out with a top-eight finish or better, depending on Westwood’s result.

Whoever missed out would join the likes of Ian Poulter – who missed the halfway cut – Sergio Garcia and Rose in vying for one of Harrington’s three wild cards on Sunday evening, although Rose can still qualify automatically with a win.

Wiesberger had been three over par after six holes of his first round, but finished birdie, eagle and added a superb 67 on Friday to end the day inside the top 20 on six under, two shots behind Lowry.

Westwood was in danger of missing the cut when he covered the front nine in 37 to fall back to level par, but made four birdies on the back nine to record a second-successive 70.

“I’m here to try and win the BMW PGA Championship and Sunday night, if you’re in the team, then you start thinking about the Ryder Cup,” Westwood said.

“There’s so many variables as well with the way we’ve set up the qualification this time around. This tournament is heavily loaded compared to everything else we’ve done and I think it’s something to maybe look at in the future.

“You can see how players are reacting to it out on the golf course. You know there’s people right in there and they are shooting scores where clearly they have got other things on their mind.

“I’ve played with Shane, he’s managed to block everything out well and play well and Shane Lowry is the kind of player that you want on your Ryder Cup team. I’m pleased to see him play well.”

Lowry echoed Westwood’s sentiments after a 66 which left him four shots off the lead, adding: “There’s almost too many points available, especially for someone like me who is in the team.

“It is what it is. We’ve known it for a couple of years. I’m just out there to do a job. I’m out there to try to win the tournament and play as best I can and, come Sunday evening, hope I’m on the team automatically.

“If I’m not, I hope I get a pick. I feel pretty laid back about it. I’m not anxious about the whole thing.

“I feel like I’ve played really well over the last while and consistently well and I feel like I’ve put my hand up. It’s up to Paddy what he wants to do on Sunday evening.”

Harrington will have the weekend off to consider his wildcard picks after he carded a two-over 74 to finish on two over.

Graeme McDowell showed a welcome return to form with a three-under 69 to move to four under and well inside the cut mark.

Cormac Sharvin completed his first round 76 in the morning before a battling three-under 69 left him on one over and outside the cut mark, while Jonathan Caldwell also missed out after carding a one-over 73 in the afternoon to finish on level par.

Leaderboard

British and Irish unless stated, par 72

132 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 64 68

133 Laurie Canter 67 66, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 68 65

134 Adam Scott (Aus) 65 69

135 Billy Horschel (USA) 70 65, Justin Rose 67 68, Jamie Donaldson 69 66

136 Shane Lowry 70 66, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 64 72, Marcus Armitage 70 66, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 70 66, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 67 69, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 70 66

137 Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den) 70 67, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 69 68, Sam Horsfield 72 65, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 68 69, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 70 67

138 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 71 67, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 70 68, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 68 70, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 68, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 69 69, Ross Fisher 71 67

139 Viktor Hovland (Nor) 72 67, Tommy Fleetwood 71 68, Alexander Bjoerk (Swe) 69 70, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 69, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 73 66, Johannes Veerman (USA) 73 66, Daniel Gavins 70 69, Ross McGowan 70 69, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 70 69, Andrew Johnston 70 69, Sean Crocker (USA) 71 68

140 Lee Westwood 70 70, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 71, Aaron Rai 70 70, Alexander Noren (Swe) 70 70, Rafael Cabrera (Esp) 71 69, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 70 70, Graeme McDowell 71 69, Stephen Gallacher 73 67, Joost Luiten (Ned) 68 72, Ignacio Elvira (Esp) 70 70, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 70 70, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 73 67, Justin Walters (Rsa) 70 70, David Drysdale 70 70, David Horsey 72 68

141 Matthew Fitzpatrick 72 69, Danny Willett 70 71, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 72 69, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 73 68, Paul Waring 73 68, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 72 69, David Law 72 69, Richie Ramsay 71 70, Julian Suri (USA) 69 72, Joel Stalter (Fra) 72 69, Jack Senior 70 71

142 Victor Perez (Fra) 76 66, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 69 73, Richard Bland 74 68, Steven Brown 70 72, Alexander Levy (Fra) 75 67, Grant Forrest 70 72, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 77 65, George Coetzee (Rsa) 73 69, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 73 69, Matthew Southgate 70 72, Jordan Smith 71 71, Oliver Wilson 69 73, Jeff Winther (Den) 69 73, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 72 70, Robert Rock 72 70, David Howell 71 71, Robin Roussel (Fra) 70 72

MISSED CUT

143 Tyrrell Hatton 74 69, Robert MacIntyre 74 69, Ian Poulter 72 71, Adria Arnaus (Esp) 71 72, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 72 71, Ashley Chesters 75 68, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 72 71, Luke Donald 75 68, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 74, Matthew Jordan 73 70

144 Chris Wood 75 69, Kurt Kitayama (USA) 73 71, Jonathan Caldwell 71 73, John Catlin (USA) 72 72, Andy Sullivan 74 70, Renato Paratore (Ita) 76 68, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 73 71, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 73 71, Peter Hanson (Swe) 72 72, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 72 72

145 Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 72 73, Thorbjoern Olesen (Den) 70 75, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 71 74, Calum Hill 78 67, Callum Shinkwin 75 70, Romain Langasque (Fra) 73 72, Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 71 74, Cormac Sharvin 76 69

146 Branden Grace (Rsa) 75 71, Pádraig Harrington 72 74, Scott Jamieson 74 72, Chris Paisley 72 74, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 74 72, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 73 73, James Morrison 77 69, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 74 72, Ricardo Santos (Por) 77 69

147 Matt Wallace 74 73, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 73 74, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 72 75, Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 71 76, Matthew Cort 73 74, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 76 71

148 Sami Valimaki (Fin) 73 75, Graeme Storm 75 73, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 75 73, Gavin Green (Mal) 78 70, Marc Warren 70 78

149 Min-Woo Lee (Aus) 75 74, Sebastian Soederberg (Swe) 75 74, Scott Hend (Aus) 78 71, Richard McEvoy 77 72, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 73 76

150 Tom Lewis 76 74, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 80 70

151 Justin Harding (Rsa) 75 76, Daniel van Tonder (Rsa) 72 79

152 Rasmus Hoejgaard (Den) 81 71, Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 80 72, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 74 78, Oliver Fisher 75 77

153 Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 79 74

162 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 87 75

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.