Ireland's Shane Lowry has moved into the automatic qualifying places for Europe's Ryder Cup team following a strong defence of his Open title.

Lowry followed an opening 71 at Royal St George's with rounds of 65, 69 and 69 to finish in a tie for 12th, nine shots behind winner Collin Morikawa.

That was enough to lift the 34-year-old above France's Victor Perez into the final qualifying place on the world points list, with Scotland's Robert MacIntyre less than 15 points behind Perez following his tie for eighth.

Lowry is good friends with European captain Padraig Harrington and said after Sunday's final round: "I'm just doing my best to make sure Padraig doesn't have a headache come September.

"My plan is to make the team. If I don't, hopefully I'm playing well enough to deserve to be picked. I feel like I've been great in the big tournaments this year. The Masters I wasn't far away, the USPGA I was close.

"I've been close this week so I think my performances have been pretty good."