The 5 Players Aiming To Catch Robert MacIntyre To Take Final Ryder Cup Spot

There's one place up for grabs on the European points list, with five players chasing down the Scot, who currently holds it

Robert MacIntyre at The Open
Robert MacIntyre leads the race for an automatic qualifying spot at the Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While the US Ryder Cup team is confirmed following Zach Johnson’s announcement of his six wildcards for the match, for Team Europe, there are still eight of the 12 spots to fill.

The final six will be confirmed on 4 September when captain Luke Donald names his wildcards, but before then, there are two automatic qualifying positions to be determined.

One of those is a straight battle between Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, who can still secure the last of three spots on the world points list. For them, it’s straightforward: Fleetwood is not playing in the Omega European Masters, but Fitzpatrick is in the field.

If he finishes tied for seventh with one other player or better, he will pip Fleetwood and join Tyrrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland as players who have qualified through the world points list.

However, there is also a final place on the European points list up for grabs, with six players in contention to join Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm on it.

Robert MacIntyre currently holds the position, and a win would guarantee he retains it whatever any other player does. But who are the five who could catch him, and what do they need to do to have a chance to overhaul him?

Yannik Paul

Yannik Paul at the Betfred British Masters

Yannik Paul is the best-placed player to overtake MacIntyre

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The German heads into the Omega European Masters 126.09 points behind MacIntyre on the European points list, and there’s one way he can guarantee he qualifies automatically – win the tournament.

Paul has just one DP World Tour win to his name, the 2022 Mallorca Golf Open. However, he’s come desperately close to adding to that twice this year with runner-up finishes in the Thailand Classic and Hero Indian Open.

Can he get over the line to take the final spot? If he doesn’t, he’ll need to finish at least T3 with two others, or better, to stand a chance.

Adrian Meronk

Adrian Meronk at the D+D Real Czech Masters

Meronk needs a strong performance to have a chance of automatic qualification

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meronk’s win in May’s Italian Open at Marco Simone, where the Ryder Cup will be held, is probably enough to warrant serious consideration as one of Donald's wildcards if he fails to qualify automatically.

However, he has one last opportunity to remove any doubt. If Meronk wins the Omega European Masters or finishes in a tie for second, albeit with no more than one other player, he could make automatic qualification to guarantee his maiden Ryder Cup appearance.

Victor Perez

Victor Perez at the D+D Real Czech Masters

Victor Perez is aiming for his maiden Ryder Cup appearance

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Perez has three wins on the DP World Tour, most recently in January’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. While he doesn’t necessarily need to claim a fourth in Switzerland to give himself a chance to qualify for his maiden Ryder Cup appearance automatically, he needs to get close.

To have any hope of taking the coveted third automatic qualifying spot, the Frenchman needs to finish no worse than outright second.

Rasmus Hojgaard

Rasmus Hojgaard takes a shot during the pro-am for the Omega European Masters

Rasmus Hojgaard needs a repeat of his victory in the 2021 tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The winner of the Omega European Masters will claim 415 points, with the player in second claiming 275 points. Dane Hojgaard is currently 297.12 points behind MacIntyre, meaning only a win will do if he is to retain any hope of taking the final automatic qualifying place.

Hojgaard has four DP World Tour wins to his name, and one of those came in the Omega European Masters two years ago. Can he repeat the feat to give himself a chance?

Adrian Otaegui

Adrian Otaegui at the ISPS Handa World Invitational

Adrian Otaegui needs a fifth DP World Tour win to have a chance

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Like Hojgaard, there’s only one outcome that can give the Spaniard a chance of automatic qualification, and that’s winning the tournament. That’s because he’s 393.48 points behind MacIntyre.

The 30-year-old dominated to claim the Andalucia Masters title at Valderrama in 2022 for his fourth DP World Tour win. He’s come close to adding to that tally twice since, with runner-up finishes in December’s Alfred Dunhill Championship and May’s KLM Open.

Can he summon the form he found in his homeland back in October to claim a fifth DP World Tour title and a chance of automatic qualification?

European Points List - As It Stands

  • Rory McIlroy (Q) – 4,033.5
  • Jon Rahm (Q) – 3,417.23
  • Robert MacIntyre – 1,828.99
  • Yannik Paul – 1,702.9
  • Adrian Meronk – 1,620.59
  • Victor Perez – 1,571.03
  • Tommy Fleetwood - 1,534.37
  • Rasmus Hojgaard – 1,531.86
  • Adrian Otaegui – 1,435.51
  • Shane Lowry – 1,290.23

Points Per Finishing Position

  • 1st - 415
  • 2nd - 275
  • 3rd - 157
  • 4th - 125
  • 5th - 106
  • 6th - 87.5
  • 7th - 75
  • 8th - 63
  • 9th - 56
  • 10th - 50
Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.