Matt Wallace makes Euro Ryder Cup case with Made in Denmark win

Aug 11, 2018; Saint Louis, MO, USA; Matt Wallace celebrates his hole in one on the 16th hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports (August)

Matt Wallace makes Euro Ryder Cup case with Made in Denmark win

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Matt Wallace makes Euro Ryder Cup case with Made in Denmark win

Matt Wallace left Silkeborg Ry Golf Club after winning the Made in Denmark event wondering if he’d done enough to secure a place on Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup team that will take on the United States on Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National in Paris.

Wallace couldn’t have done much more to impress the European captain in the last tournament counting toward European qualification. With Bjorn watching, the 28-year-old birdied five of the last six holes in a closing 5-under 67 to reach 19 under and get into a four-man playoff with fellow Englishmen Lee Westwood, Steven Brown and Jonathan Thomson. Wallace birdied the two extra holes to win.

“To do it in the style I’ve done it is pretty special,” said Wallace, the first player since scoring records began in 1999 to birdie seven of his last eight holes to win. “That just shows who I am right there – my grit, my determination. That’s what I’m all about.”

The 28-year-old took home a check for $290,000 to move to 17th on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. Westwood, Brown and Thomson each earned $130,000.

Wallace also entered his name onto Bjorn’s wild-card selection list. The European captain makes his four picks Sept. 5.

Thorbjorn Olesen emerged as the eighth and final automatic player to make Bjorn’s team. Olesen could have been knocked off the team if Matthew Fitzpatrick or Eddie Pepperell had won. Fitzpatrick, who made his Ryder Cup debut two years ago, put up a spirited fight. He finished seventh, three shots off the pace. Pepperell placed 56th.

Bjorn has said he wants players running into form on his team. That’s why Wallace believes he has a strong case to make the trip to Paris.

“I’ve stepped up to the mark and I’ve shown him exactly what I’m about,” Wallace said. “If he doesn’t pick me, then that’s absolutely fine, but if he does, he knows he’s going to get exactly that in his team.

“I set myself positions where I have to do things and, more often than not, I get it done. I’m very fortunate to have done it when I needed to in a few tournaments now.”

Regardless of what Bjorn decides, Wallace is one of the stories of the season.

Few had ever heard of the Londoner before May last year. His claim to fame until then was winning five consecutive tournaments on the Alps Tour in 2016. He topped that tour’s order of merit then joined the European Challenge Tour. Victory in the 2017 Portuguese Open, a tournament that also counted on the European Tour, earned him full membership. Yet few thought he’d be on the verge of a Ryder Cup spot this year.

Wallace won the Hero Indian Open in March, also in a playoff, before winning the BMW International Open in June. Denmark was his third win of the year, making him the only player so far to win three times on this year’s European Tour.

What a story it will turn out to be if Wallace does get one of Bjorn’s picks. Gwk

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