In just over a month's time, Tom Watson and Paul McGinley will have to carefully select their three wildcard choices for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, and there are plenty of star names on either side that may well be left relying on one of them if they are to appear in Scotland this autumn.

The obvious example is of course Tiger Woods; the 14-time major winner has only played six rounds of competitive golf since undergoing surgery on a pinched nerve on March 31, but he's not the only big-name player that needs to finish their season strongly if they're to have the privilege of playing for their respective team in September.

Key events coming

All is not lost, however, with a World Golf Championship at Firestone this week followed immediately by the season-ending Major, the US PGA Championship at Valhalla - scene of America's last victory in the biennial event.

And, ahead of those crucial tournaments, we take a closer look at the nine players currently occupying the automatic qualification spots on Watson's US side.

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Things could still change, but here are the automatic selections as things stand...

PGA Tour
Ryder Cup
Tiger Woods