By Andrew Both
GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) - With the Rio Olympics in their rear view mirror, Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler are turning their thoughts to the Ryder Cup, the main reason they are playing the Wyndham Championship starting here on Thursday.
Reed is on the borderline of qualifying for the United States team, with Fowler on the outside looking in, so now is not the time to take a week off, even after the rigors of Rio.
Reed is eighth in the U.S. standings, while Fowler is 12th.
The top eight after next week’s Barclays tournament qualify automatically for the team to take on Europe, while captain Davis Love will make four wild card selections on Sept. 25, just five days before the start of the Ryder Cup, to be held at Hazeltine outside Minneapolis.
“I’m thinking about it of course, it’s always in the back of my mind,” Reed, the 2013 Wyndham champion at Sedgefield Country Club, told reporters on Wednesday.
“Right now I’m trying to focus on playing well this week. If I take care of this week and play well next week, then I hopefully don’t have to rely on (a captain’s pick).”
Reed created a memorable impression at the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland, with his strong play and pugnacious attitude. He won three of his four matches on a losing team.
Last week Reed did not quite find his best form, finishing equal 11th in Rio, though he says he enjoyed the experience.
Fowler, who finished equal 37th in Rio, has also turned his focus to the Ryder Cup after immersing himself in the entire Olympic experience, including a memorable night at the swimming.
“The main reason being here is for Ryder Cup points,” said the world number eight. “It wasn’t something we planned on earlier in the year, but the Ryder Cup is something that means a lot to me.
“The game has been very close to being very good. Got a glimpse of it with the third round in Rio (shooting 64).”
Reed and Fowler are part of a strong Wyndham field that includes seven Olympians and 10 of the top 30 players on the world rankings.
Love is defending champion, while others in action include PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker, Japanese Hideki Matsuyama and “Mr 58” Jim Furyk, who shot the lowest round in PGA Tour history at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago.
(Editing by Larry Fine)