-- FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - This year's Ryder Cup doesn't begin for another month, but the drama already kicked into high gear Sunday afternoon.
Needing a result of third place or better at The Barclays to move up from the 12th position and claim one of the eight automatic qualifying spots on the United States roster, 54-hole leader Rickie Fowler played his final four holes in 3-over to finish in a share of seventh place.
Zach Johnson, who was seventh on the list entering the week and hadn't been outside the top eight since his Open Championship victory last summer, retained the last qualifying position on the team.
"I just have to continue working on my game and continue getting better," said Fowler, whose fate now rests with U.S. captain Davis Love III. "It was almost really good this week."
Fowler will now wait and hope for a call from Love, who will make three wild-card selections on Sept. 12 after the BMW Championship and one more on Sept. 25, directly after the final round of the Tour Championship. Among those also needing a captain's pick are Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk.
The subplot between Fowler and Johnson wasn't Sunday's only drama. Patrick Reed entered the week eighth in the standings and easily maintained his spot on the team with a one-stroke victory, his first of the season.
Brandt Snedeker also officially made the team Sunday, though after a strong finish at last week's Wyndham Championship, his position was never really in doubt.
Meanwhile, the intrigue continued across the pond, as well.
The nine automatic qualifiers for Europe were already previously decided. They are: Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson, Chris Wood, Sergio Garcia, Rafael Cabrera Bello, Justin Rose, Andy Sullivan and Matthew Fitzpatrick.
The Ryder Cup will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, with Europe serving as the three-time defending champions.