Faldo's Ryder Cup gamble

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The Independent Online
Golf

Nick Faldo said yesterday that he has no intention changing his 1997 schedule just to try to get into Europe's Ryder Cup team.

Faldo's next appearance in Europe will not be not until the Loch Lomond World Invitational next July.

The Ryder Cup captain, Seve Ballesteros, said recently that nobody is guaranteed one of his two wild cards and that he will make no decision until the end of the qualifying race on 31 August.

"If I play well I will be on the team and if I'm not then I shouldn't be on the team," Faldo said yesterday in Hawaii, where he will play in the 36-hole Mastercard Grand Slam today and tomorrow, which features all four of this season's major winners.

The 39-year-old Masters champion has so far played in two out of seven Ryder Cup qualifying events, but finished only 25th in the Lancome Trophy and 37th at Loch Lomond.

It now seems likely that he will play in only five of the remaining 30 counting tournaments and that puts the pressure on him to do well in the majors if he is to avoid relying on Ballesteros picking him.

Although he has not won since Augusta in April, Faldo finished 12th on the American tour money list with over pounds 600,000. He said: "I think most parts of my game have improved."

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