Europe's Solheim and Ryder Cup teams boosted by Charley Hull and Shane Lowry's good finishes

Charley Hull hitting a tee shot at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati
Hull is England's top-ranked golfer at ninth in the world standings

Professional golfers prefer to deal in wins, but sometimes high finishes are victories in their own right.

Certainly Charley Hull and Shane Lowry would have preferred to spend Monday morning arranging space for a new a trophy, but both can reflect on very successful weekends.

Hull was runner-up at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati in her last outing before this month's Solheim Cup, while Lowry posted his best result of the year by finishing third at the Horizon Irish Open.

"The juices were flowing," Lowry observed after waving his cap to all sides of the 18th green at the K Club. At 12 under par on what proved a tough layout, he finished two behind champion Vincent Norrman.

The timing of Lowry's return to form could hardly have been better. The 36-year-old delivered under the pressure of a home Open in the wake of his Ryder Cup wildcard selection being questioned, given relatively indifferent 2023 form.

Now he takes momentum into his defence of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this week before lining up as one of Europe's dozen to take on the United States in Rome at the end of the month.

"I started the week getting in the Ryder Cup team and I come here and play some of the best golf I've played all year," Lowry said. "I'm very pleased with myself.

"One thing I'm really pleased with is my iron play which has been iffy over the last month or two. I felt like it was the best part of my game this week.

"I'm pretty happy with everything and I have a nice few weeks ahead of me."

Europe's captain Luke Donald will have given Lowry a pat on the back when his team gathered late on Sunday night in the Italian capital prior to spending Monday scouting the Marco Simone course that will stage the Ryder Cup.

This visit, involving the European team, captain and vice-captains, is the first time Lowry has seen the venue. It will be an important recce and team bonding exercise before the continent's Italian job from September 29 - 1 October.

Having posted only one top-10 all year, Lowry - the 2019 Open champion - was picked on reputation rather than form.

"Irish Opens are tournaments that were generally a struggle in the past," he admitted.

"I felt like I was great out there all week this week. It's probably one of the best tournaments I've played this year so far and that's kind of nice.

"I have an exciting few weeks of golf ahead of me now and this is a great way to start and hopefully I can build on it from here."

Europe will bid to regain the Ryder Cup a week after the continent's women defend the Solheim Cup against the US at Finca Cortesin in Spain from 22-24 September.

Unlike Lowry, Hull has been enjoying one of the best seasons of her career. All that has been missing amid a string of runner-up finishes - including at the US Open and AIG Women's Open - is a win.

The 27-year-old from Kettering came desperately close in Ohio last Sunday, charging from five shots behind with eight holes to play to force a play-off with Australia's Minjee Lee.

Hull came within a millimetre of success when her audacious putt from off the back of the green on the first extra hole stopped rolling just one revolution short of triumphantly disappearing underground.

Lee, the 2022 US Open winner, capitalised at the next with a stunningly well judged approach to tap-in range, leaving Hull to bank her sixth runner-up cheque in the past 10 months.

Second place in her next outing would be a much more gutting defeat, as Europe attempt to land a record third win in a row.

"I'm looking forward to Solheim," Hull said.

"I'm looking forward to doing some work next week with my coach and just getting into it again and closing out the season."

Hull is particularly enthused by the prospect of playing for skipper Suzann Pettersen on the Costa Del Sol. "Suzann is going to be a great captain," Hull said.

"She's one of my favourite players ever to play the game, so it's pretty cool. I wish she was on the team."

More pertinently, Pettersen is surely thrilled that such an in-form Hull is going to be such a prominent figure in her line up.