Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

BMW PGA: ‘Wiesberger Watch’ making some big names nervous as Ryder Cup qualification goes down to the wire

Austria's Bernd Wiesberger on the fourth hole during day two of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water. Picture date: Friday September 10, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story GOLF Wentworth. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PA Wire.

RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
Austria's Bernd Wiesberger on the fourth hole during day two of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water. Picture date: Friday September 10, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story GOLF Wentworth. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.

Possibly for the first time in European Tour history, everyone was looking over their shoulder for an Austrian at Wentworth yesterday.

“Obviously everyone’s going to be on a bit of a Bernd Wiesberger watch today, there’s no shying away from that,” said Tommy Fleetwood.

The former Scottish Open champion is the man making everyone nervous because he needs to finish in the top 50 at the BMW Championship to unleash some chaos. The Ryder Cup qualification process, in the very last two days of what has been a three-year process because of Covid, could become a very fraught thing indeed.

Wiesberger’s rally gets everyone nervous

Simply put (if this is actually possible without a degree in applied maths) should Wiesberger finish 50th or better, he goes above (absent from Wentworth) Rory McIlroy on the qualification’s European Points list.

However, that means McIlroy then counts on the World Points list (where he’s currently second) and it puts a series of players who thought they might be safe in real jeopardy.

It didn’t seem to matter much when Wiesberger was three-over after six holes in Thursday’s first round. However the Austrian has rallied over the next day and a half and reached six-under at the halfway stage– in a tie for 18th.

Just five players are safe. Everyone else is in play. Not everyone is exactly happy about this being the case in the final qualifying event. Especially one as prestigious as the BMW PGA Championship.

‘It’s something to look at in future’

Lee Westwood’s automatic Ryder Cup place could be under threat.

Lee Westwood is one of those now potentially in trouble for a qualifying spot.

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

“Some of the guys turning up here don’t need this week right now. Knowing what the Ryder Cup is like, and just two weeks before. It is going to be draining for a few, and you want to be going into the Ryder Cup fresh.”

Fleetwood is safe, along with Jon Rahm, McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Paul Casey. Those now in threat include Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton and Shane Lowry. The former Open champion from Ireland is the best placed of those on the Wentworth leaderboard lying joint sixth.

Hatton missed the cut here in defence of his title. Westwood had a late rally to make the weekend at four-under, Fitzpatrick moved through at three-under.

It also may mess with the wildcards

This intrigue might also conflict with the general assumption that Harrington will select Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter with two of his wildcards, and go for another experienced hand like Justin Rose with the third. He’ll have to at least consider one of those four now under threat, if any do fall out.

Vice-captain Graeme McDowell admitted there might be some tearing up of plans.

“I’m not sure I’d have wanted as many variables if I was the captain,” he said. “I’m not sure I’d have wanted so many question marks cropping up two weeks before the match.

“Obviously it is fantastic for Wentworth and the BWW PGA Championship. But I’d liked to have had eight or nine of my guys locked in by now. Let the (wildcard) picks get after it this week, but hey, it’s exciting stuff.

‘It’s all ifs and buts and maybes’

“I think Padraig wanted to have a quick get-together tonight. We were just having a mid-tournament review of what is going on and what the potentials are.

“All we’ll be doing is the same as everyone else is doing, as it’s all ifs and buts and maybes.”

Maybe the tournament isn’t so thrilled about it. It’s hard to pay any attention to the actual leaderboard as the points list tracker ticks over.

The championship is still led by Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat at 12-under. England’s Laurie Canter, with a chance of a life-changing weekend, is second on -11. Adam Scott is on his own in third at ten-under after a 68, and Rose just one behind on nine-under.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]