Ryder Cup: Russell Knox has 'no regrets' over selection approach

Russell Knox takes stock during the Scottish Open
Knox has won two PGA Tour tournaments and is ranked higher than all three wildcard picks

Russell Knox says he has no regrets about his approach to trying to qualify for Europe's Ryder Cup team after missing out on a captain's pick.

The Scot confirmed captain Darren Clarke asked him to play in the Wyndham Championship, which began 11 days after he won the Travelers Championship.

He admitted it was a "tough call" but opted to stick to his chosen schedule.

"I decided to take two weeks off to enjoy my win and I will never regret doing that," he told BBC Sportsound.

"If it ended up hurting my [chances of a] place, I am comfortable with that.

"Maybe it did hurt me but my agent got in touch with someone at the European Tour and they ran some statistical analysis of what I needed compared to other people.

"It was still only something like a 5% chance - it wasn't as if I just had to show up to make the team."

Clarke opted for the experienced Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer and the in-form Belgian Thomas Pieters as his three wildcard picks.

Darren Clarke speaks to the media after announcing his three wildcard picks
Clarke said telling Knox "was as difficult a call as I've ever had to make in golfing terms"

Asked if he felt not playing a ranking event which could have seen him qualify automatically sent out the wrong message to Clarke, Knox was adamant his commitment to the European cause should not be questioned.

"It has got nothing to do with the message," said the world number 20. "I joined the European Tour and I was 100% committed to making the Ryder Cup team. I did everything I had to do.

"But I don't see the sense of running round like a headless chicken to try to qualify. We set our schedules and this is an insanely busy month for me with the FedExCup play-offs, which were just as much of a goal as the Ryder Cup at the start of the year.

"I took a week to decide and it was a tough call [not to play the Wyndham]. It probably shouldn't have mattered, and it probably didn't come down to that at all."

'Thomas is going to be a superstar'

Despite his disappointment at missing out on selection for the biennial clash at Hazeltine, Minnesota, starting on 30 September, Knox was magnanimous in hailing Pieters as a future "superstar" of the game.

"I am disappointed but I don't feel angry or let down," the 31-year-old added.

"Let's be honest, it came down to Thomas Pieters or me. He couldn't have picked a wrong one.

"Thomas deserves to be in the team. He has played tremendously well the last couple of months and he is going to be a superstar."

Thomas Pieters celebrates a putt
Thomas Pieters has been earmarked as a future 'superstar' of golf

The Belgian won the Made in Denmark title at the weekend, after a fourth-place finish at the Rio Olympics and a runner-up spot at the Czech Masters.

The 2016 event will now be only the third since the Second World War in which no Scot has played, following Nick Faldo's defeated 2008 team and Colin Montgomerie's victorious group in 2010.

"It is a shame for the Scottish game and it is a shame for myself not to make it," Knox added.

"I don't think I could have done a lot more to make the team outright, but it wasn't meant to be this time.

"In two years' time, I hope myself and a couple of other Scottish guys are on the team."

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