Ryder Cup race gathers pace

Home

Three out of six has become two out of four in Europe’s Ryder Cup points race – Francesco Molinari is in and Ross McGowan is out.

Three out of six has become two out of four in Europe’s Ryder Cup points race – Francesco Molinari is in and Ross McGowan is out.
Now all that remains to be resolved in the final counting event, the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, is whether Simon Dyson or Alvaro Quiros can oust Miguel Angel Jimenez or Peter Hanson from Colin Montgomerie’s side.
And after that, of course, Montgomerie will then announce his three wild cards.
McGowan called off his quest for a debut after an opening 77 yesterday, his hopes ended by the shoulder injury that has bedevilled him the last month.
As a consequence Molinari cannot now be denied, a fact he was told
after scoring a four under par 68 that left him only two behind leader Richard Finch.
“Obviously it’s not the best way to make the team – I’m sorry for Ross, but for me it’s very good news,” said the Turin golfer, whose brother and World Cup-winning partner Edoardo is among those under consideration for a captain’s pick.
“It’s really a dream. I used to watch Costantino Rocca playing (he famously beat Tiger Woods in 1997) and I looked at it like something that maybe I would never achieve.
“I think it was really a great experience for me at Whistling Straits (the US PGA two weeks ago) to be leading the first round and then to play with Tiger for the first time.
“Those are things that don’t benefit you in the short term, but in the long term at the Ryder Cup they might come in useful.”
Dyson also started with a 68 to be in joint seventh spot, but he has to win on Sunday and even then he would not make the team if Jimenez is in the top nine and Hanson in the top 43.
Starting the second round the Spaniard and the Swede are 29th and 18th respectively, so it is everything to play for.
Quiros also has to win, but a level par 72 means he resumed down in 69th spot.
Meanwhile, Montgomerie has spoken of his desire to have someone on stand-by at Celtic Manor in case Lee Westwood’s calf injury does not heal in time – or someone else has a problem, of course.
“Taking a 13th man hasn’t been done before, but I am always quite surprised there isn’t a substitute – especially when it is in the States,” he said.
“I’ve always felt it has been an omission over the years.”
Westwood, out of action since August 6 and now rated doubtful for the tournament the week before the Ryder Cup, has until the night before the match to decide if he is okay.

Latest