Keegan Bradley and Ian Poulter have both given themselves a chance of competing against one another at the Ryder Cup with strong opening rounds at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Both players are looking to be wildcard picks by their respective captains and need a good showing at TPC Boston after a mixed 2014.
Bradley, a three-time victor on the PGA Tour and a major winner, shot a flawless first round of 65 on Friday to leave himself two shots off first-round leader Ryan Palmer on six-under.
The 28-year-old American, who was part of the US team that collapsed on the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah, says earning a place on Tom Watson’s team is what is keeping him focused this week.
“I am dreaming about it,” he said, when asked about the Ryder Cup.
“When I wake up, I am thinking about it. When I’m on the course, I am thinking about it. I’ve just made the decision that it’s going to come up and I’m not going to try to block it out.
“I’m just going to try and embrace it and be aware of those thoughts.
The more I try not to think about it, the more it comes in. I am just embracing it and today felt good.”
Poulter will hope to join Bradley at Gleneagles in September and did his chances of a captain’s pick no harm with a 67 on Friday to leave himself four shots off the lead.
While the Deutsche Bank Championship doesn’t count towards automatic qualification for the European team, it is the last chance Poulter and co will get to impress skipper Paul McGinley before he announces his three wildcard selections on September 2.
The Englishman claims his mind is not on the Ryder Cup and just wants to end the year strongly after a disappointing 2014.
He said: “I can’t do anything about Ryder Cup. It’s someone else’s job.
“I am solely focused on being ruthless on this week, that’s it. I want to turn around my year.”
Europe are priced at 1.50 to win the Ryder Cup, with the USA 2.61.