GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- David Lynn now admits he made a mistake by not staying on in the United States after his spectacular runner-up finish at the PGA Championship -- a decision he knows could cost him a Ryder Cup debut.
The 38-year-old from England would still be in the running for an automatic place on Europe's team if he had finished tied for 46th or better at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.
The Johnnie Walker Championship is the final event in which players can earn points toward the 2012 European Ryder Cup team.
Sergio Garcia won the PGA Tour event on Monday to make certain of his spot on the team, but Lynn might come up an agonizing 0.68 world ranking points short if he wins this week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
There are still two wild cards for Captain Jose Maria Olazabal to hand out next Monday, but one of those is surely ear-marked for Ian Poulter and Lynn fears his lack of experience could count against him.
"In hindsight I made a mistake -- I should have played last week," Lynn said. "But I think I can be forgiven because of where my head was at."
He was approached by a PGA Tour official soon after he had given the performance of his life -- it earned him more than $700,000 and a place in the 2012 Masters -- to be told his top-10 finish qualified him for the Wyndham.
"I said I was going home. I was prepared for being out there for one week, not two, and I'm a bit like that when I get something in my head," Lynn said. "I actually got a lift with Padraig Harrington to New York on his private plane and he was asking me why on earth didn't I go.
"Jamie Donaldson had also mentioned it to me on the range before the final round (the Irish Open champion did play in Greensboro), but it was only when I got home and looked at the way the points were that I realized I should have gone," he explained. "It was probably a time when I needed somebody at my side saying, 'Hang on a minute'."
The world ranking points on offer at Gleneagles were enough to lift Lynn from 13th into the 10th and last automatic spot -- until Sweden’s Peter Hanson, now sure of his second Ryder Cup appearance -- withdrew on Monday afternoon.
First-place points came down from 32 to 30 as a result, and neither Lynn nor Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello can now catch 10th-placed Martin Kaymer. Only Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts can with a top-two finish.
"I guess if I win, it puts forward a good case (for a wild card) on current form," Lynn added. "But there's guys you have to look at like Harrington -- I know he didn't have a great match by his standards last time, but he's still a guy you can't overlook because he's won three majors and has played a few Ryder Cups.
"Would you pick a rookie over experience? Experience means a lot, I think."
It is actually Colsaerts, the Volvo World Match Play champion, rather than Harrington who is being widely tipped for a wild card if he does not get in automatically. Just to be part of the conversation shows what Lynn has achieved, however.
"It's nice to be talked about, but I always knew at the start of the Ryder Cup campaign that you've got no chance of playing when you're not in all four majors and all four world championships," he said. "You're giving too many good players too much of a head start.
"I played in one out of the eight (majors over the past two years) -- and got in that only just," he said. He qualified for the PGA Championship by being 100th in the world rankings.