Thorbjorn Olesen making strong Ryder Cup case

AKRON, OH - AUGUST 02:  Russell Knox of Scotland plays his shot from the third tee during World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Round One at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 2, 2018 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Greg Shamus/Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - AUGUST 02: Russell Knox of Scotland plays his shot from the third tee during World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Round One at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 2, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Greg Shamus/Getty Images)
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On-form Thorbjorn Olesen is set to be one of Russell Knox’s main rivals if the pair are among those vying for a Ryder Cup captain’s pick early next month.

Olesen is now just outside the eight automatic spots on fellow Dane Thomas Bjorn’s team after closing with a 64 to finish joint-third behind Justin Thomas in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational 
on Sunday.

Heading into this week’s 100th US PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St Louis, Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood occupy those berths off a European points list.

On a world points list, meanwhile, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Alex Noren and Paul Casey are on course to make the team for the 28-30 September clash at Le Golf National outside Paris.

Olesen, who has now chalked up four top-six finishes, including a win in the Italian Open, in his last seven events is the next best on each of those lists among the players in those automatic places.

Knox, who will be hoping that his second-place finish behind Noren over the Ryder Cup course in the French Open will weigh in his favour if he has to rely on a pick, is next after Olesen on the European points list.

Bjorn is set to announce his four picks on Wednesday, 
5 September – three days after the final counting event, the Made in Denmark.

Meanwhile, Thomas sealed his place in Jim Furyk’s US team in style by cruising to a four-shot success in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson are currently in the other automatic spots in a race that ends on Sunday after the US PGA Championship.

Phil Mickelson is tenth in the points table while Furyk’s vice captain Tiger Woods is 20th.