Henrik Stenson’s hopes of qualifying automatically for the 2018 Ryder Cup are all but over after he confirmed his withdrawal from The Northern Trust this week.
Stenson currently sits 16th on the European Points List, just over two million points behind Tommy Fleetwood in fourth, whilst the Swede occupies the same position on the World Points List.
The 42-year-old was hoping to gather some crucial points as the first FedEx Cup event gets underway at The Northern Trust, but he has been forced to pull out of the tournament due to an ongoing elbow injury.
It is the same issue that forced the 2016 Open champion to miss July’s Scottish Open and there are now huge doubts as to whether he will be back to fitness in time for the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.
Stenson played in last week’s Wyndham Championship where he finished T20th and that seemed to give the impression that the elbow problem wasn’t affecting his golf.
After withdrawing from The Northern Trust, the world number 19 now has only two more tournaments left to make an impression on the automatic standings, although a captain’s pick looks to be his best bet.
Thomas Bjorn has been handed the task of winning back the cup this year and he could decide to hand Stenson, who has represented Europe four times and ended up on the winning side twice, a spot on his team.
Numerous high-profile players look like they will be in need of a captain’s pick and Spaniard Sergio Garcia, a five-time Ryder Cup winner, is one of those.
England’s Paul Casey, who recently slipped out of the automatic places, is another whilst his compatriot Ian Poulter, nicknamed ‘The Postman’ due to his history of delivering the goods in the coveted event, is also in need of Bjorn’s backing