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Seventh Tour victory puts Kuchar in the mood for the Ryder Cup

Matt Kuchar, the RBC Heritage winner, has ruled out playing in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July but the American has his sights set firmly on the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September.

Having let victory slip in his three previous events, the Masters among them, Kuchar claimed a seventh PGA Tour win by holing a brilliant 72nd-hole bunker shot at Hilton Head.

The 35-year-old relegated Englishman Luke Donald to a second-place finish at Hilton Head as he sought to not only win across the pond for a first time in two years but boost his own Ryder Cup aspirations. Kuchar has played in the last two contests with Europe and, while he is now widely favoured to win a first major, he is licking his lips at the thought of returning to compete in Scotland in September.

"I just love playing golf in Scotland and look forward to the Ryder Cup," he said. "It's not only good to be right in the mix for the Ryder Cup but I'm just excited about the Ryder Cup itself; you don't want to miss out."

Kuchar is not fazed by the thought of competing against the 50-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez at Gleneagles. The Spaniard capped his inaugural outing in a Champions Tour event by getting the better of defending champion, Bernhard Langer, to win in the Greater Gwinnett Championship in suburban Atlanta.

Jimenez's good form of late has lifted him to ninth overall and not far outside the automatic qualifying spots for Gleneagles. "Miguel is fantastic; what he did at the Masters the other week shows he's in good form and if he were to make the Europe team he would be a deserving player," said Kuchar. "If he plays as he did at Augusta and in winning in Atlanta then he's going to be a tough opponent."

Another European golfer who was turning heads with his form at the weekend was Russell Knox. The Scot finished with a share of ninth at Hilton Head - a result which enabled him to take his earnings for the year beyond the $1m mark for the first time in his career. His efforts on Sunday brought a purse of $156,600 (£99,150).

In contrast, his compatriot Stephen Gallacher has earned £655,168 from his eight European Tour events and is second highest-earning Scot in 2014. Knox will this week head south to join another Scot, Martin Laird, in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

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