World-class Russell Knox couldn't be doing any more to earn a Ryder Cup wildcard pick

Sam Torrance
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Travelers Championship - Final Round
Scotsman Knox won his second PGA Tour title of the season on Sunday (Source: Getty)

But for a technicality, Russell Knox would already be assured of a place at the Ryder Cup, and the up-and-coming Scot could hardly be doing any more to remedy that situation.

Knox, 31, earned a fantastic win at the Travelers Championship on Sunday to put him right in contention for a European debut against his adopted home at Hazeltine next month.

It was his second victory on the PGA Tour this season, having broken his duck at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November, and underlined his progress by lifting him to No18 in the rankings.

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His is a great story. Born and raised in Inverness, he won a scholarship to go to college in Florida, flourished on the PGA Tour and is now a world-class player.

Knox wasn’t registered as a European Tour member when he claimed that landmark win in China late last year. Had he been, he would have enough Ryder Cup points by now to forget about needing a wild card.

Europe are already on course to have five rookies in their 12-man team, so it would be a big call by captain Darren Clarke to name another, in Knox, as one of his three discretionary picks.

But with two wins and three more runner-up finishes in the last 10 months, he could hardly be doing any more, and he has to be firmly in contention.

As well as being a good ball-striker, he has plenty of courage and his familiarity with American courses and players is another asset. Knox brings a lot to the table.

Older guys taking over

While his form has given Clarke plenty to think about, the resurgence of the evergreen Jim Furyk must be doing the same for United States captain Davis Love III.

Furyk stole some of the limelight from Knox on Sunday by shooting 58 – the lowest round in the history of the PGA Tour – to share fifth place at the Travelers.

With 10 birdies – including seven in succession – and an eagle, it was magnificent stuff. And for a man of his age – Furyk turned 46 in May – it was just extraordinary.

Having seen twentysomethings Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day dominate, it seems the tide has turned and some more experienced players are having their moment.

That unforgettable duel at the Open was between a 40-year-old Henrik Stenson and 46-year-old Phil Mickelson, while recent US PGA winner Jimmy Walker will be 38 in January.

The young guns seem to have fired all their bullets; now the old guys are taking over. It’s also a sign of the times, with healthier lifestyles allowing players to extend their peak for longer.

Wall's longevity

A man who knows about longevity is Anthony Wall, whose win at the Paul Lawrie Match Play bookended the longest spell in between European Tour titles: 16 years and 204 days.

About a year ago, injury problems had virtually forced the Englishman out of the game, and there were few signs leading up to this event that Wall was about to return to winning ways.

But he arrived at Archerfield feeling fantastic, and I’ve never seen him look so good. He’s a great competitor, so match play suits him, and now he has the peace of mind of an exemption until the end of 2017.

Rio fever

Golf returns to the Olympics this week after a 112-year absence and, whatever you think about it, after a few days of action from Rio I’ve got the bug now so I can’t wait.

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