Fitness doubt for Torrance

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Sam Torrance, whose target this year is to gain a place in the European Ryder Cup team for the eighth successive time, was yesterday struggling with a back injury on the eve of the Catalonia Open in Girona, Spain.

Torrance, 10th in the Ryder Cup points table, hurt his lower back carrying his daughter last week. Yesterday he was unable to play in the pro-am event.

The Scot has not won a tournament for two years but finished joint second in the Mediterranean Open in Valencia and joint fifth in the Moroccan Open. But, to confirm a Ryder Cup place, he knows he needs at least one tournament victory this year, if not two.

Among his rivals this week will be David Gilford, who has just returned from Augusta, where he finished joint 24th in the US Masters. Also among this week's field are Peter Baker, Barry Lane, Steven Richardson, Ronan Rafferty, Howard Clark and Gordon Brand Jnr.