Faldo on a tight schedule

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The Independent Online
Nick Faldo, making a rare European appearance here in the Lancome Trophy, will give himself only eight opportunities to make next year's Ryder Cup team. Faldo, who swung last year's match Europe's way, has yet to communicate this to Seve Ballesteros. The new captain warned the top players not to rely on a wild card.

After this week and next at Loch Lomond, plus next year's majors, Faldo's two other events may be prior to the Open. His schedule does not include the PGA Championship at Wentworth. "It is opposite the Memorial event and in the middle of a good run for me in America leading up to the US Open," the Masters champion said. "If I am playing well, then I'll qualify from eight events. My priority is the majors. I fully understand Seve's concern. If you only have two picks, you want the best players to qualify."

As expected, Faldo's name is also missing from the 12-man field for the Toyota World Match Championship at Wentworth next month. He was already committed to the Bridgestone Open in Japan prior to winning at Augusta. Without him, the line-up includes the three other majors winners, the top five on the US money list and the top two in Europe. The defending champion, Ernie Els, is seeded into the second round with Tom Lehman, Steve Jones and Mark Brooks, while Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam fight it out from day one.

Faldo and Montgomerie were among those who attended a players' meeting called by Ballesteros following the greens fiasco at Collingtree Park during the British Masters. "It was a private meeting," Monty reported. How private? "Private to the extent of not saying anything of what happened."

Laura Davies, second in the European earnings list, aims to boost her chance of being the leading money-winner on both sides of the Atlantic when she defends her English Open title at The Oxfordshire this week.