GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) – Major champions Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia missed out on a chance to stake their claim for Europe’s Ryder Cup team with underwhelming performances at the Wyndham Championship.
Aug 17, 2018; Greensboro, NC, USA; Henrik Stenson studies a putt on the second green during the second round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club. Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
With a tie for 20th at Sedgefield, Swede Stenson made no inroads towards automatic selection for the Sept. 28-30 event in Paris despite a closing 64 that left him eight strokes behind winner Brandt Snedeker.
Spaniard Garcia finished another shot behind, in equal 24th, and will head home rather than to New Jersey after missing the PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoffs for the first time.
Stenson, the 2017 Wyndham champion, observed some positive signs in his game and was pleased to see a few putts drop on Sunday.
“It’s not really been exactly the week we wanted but I had a good spell on Friday, hit some really good iron shots,” he told Reuters.
“I’ve been struggling on the greens for a few weeks so it was nice to roll a few in.
“At least a little part of what we left out there the first three days, we got that back in the final round.”
The top eight in the European standings in two weeks will automatically qualify for the Ryder Cup team to take on the United States. Captain Thomas Bjorn will pick four others.
Barring a victory at next week’s Northern Trust tournament in New Jersey, four-times Ryder Cup player Stenson will probably be reliant on Bjorn.
“I’ve been trying to focus on my game and there are some things that are good and some things that needed a bit more work. We’ll try to sort that out in weeks to come,” he said.
“Obviously we’re a little bit out of direct qualification. He (Bjorn) has got my number and I guess I’ll just have to wait next to the telephone.”
Garcia was only four shots from the lead starting the final round but did not help his cause with a closing 70.
A stronger finish would have lifted him into the Northern Trust, the first event of the tour’s playoff series, which starts Thursday.
Garcia started the Wyndham ranked 131st in the season-long points list for the playoffs and ended it 128th, outside the top 125 who qualify.
Like Stenson, eight-times Ryder Cup player Garcia seems destined to have to rely on a captain’s pick to join team Europe in Paris.
Reporting by Andrew Both; editing by Clare Fallon / Ian Ransom