Ballesteros' warning on Ryder Cup places

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Seve Ballesteros, captaining the Ryder Cup team for the first time next year, yesterday issued a warning to the leading European players by saying: "Make a real effort to qualify or you may be in for a shock." Ballesteros, competing in the Volvo German Open this week, said he was not picking anyone out in particular but added: "This is a clear message to everyone."

He said of Nick Faldo, who plays regularly on the US Tour: "I would like Nick to come over here and play in some of the better tournaments, which will help him qualify." The top 10 players in the Ryder Cup points table, starting next week, will qualify automatically and Ballesteros will then select two others. "It will help me if the top players all qualify to give me more leeway."

Although he did not mention Ian Woosnam by name, Ballesteros does not want a repeat of last year when the Welshman only received a late call- up when Jose Maria Olazabal had to withdraw. Ballesteros said: "I want all the top players to make a real effort and play their way into the team otherwise, if I see someone else around, they may not get picked. Some players may think it doesn't matter if they qualify or not and that they will be picked in any case. They may be in for a shock."

Ballesteros will also attempt to qualify and said: "I will try and be in the team. But it doesn't matter whether I qualify or not. It depends on whether I feel good about playing in the team. I want to get the feeling right and, if it means picking myself, I will."

n Tommy Horton, the former Ryder Cup player, will be trying to become the first player to win pounds 100,000 prize-money in a season on the European Seniors Tour when he plays in the PGA Seniors Championship at The Belfry today.