Golf: Ballesteros looks for matchplay

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The Independent Online
WITH his sights set on the Ryder Cup in September, Seve Ballesteros is determined to play more matchplay golf.

Accordingly, Ballesteros tuned up yesterday for the Moroccan Open, which begins today at King Hassan II's private course in Agadir, by playing for Europe in a specially arranged match against Africa.

The 35-year-old Spaniard, who has played in Dubai, Singapore, Brunei and Hong Kong during the past month, said: 'It is a very good idea to have this type of golf. I prefer it to shoot-outs. It would be nice to play more foursomes and four-balls before the Ryder Cup.'

Ballesteros explained that at a meeting of leading players at Wentworth last year he had pushed the idea of more matchplay, and when told that the American captain Tom Watson was also planning on the same lines, he said: 'He copied me. Foursomes, for example, is a most difficult game. Sometimes you hit only one shot every hole and it is difficult to get used to it.'

As for his ambitions to be Ryder Cup captain in the future, he said: 'I'm not thinking of that. It would be a great honour but at the moment I want to concentrate on my game and just be one of the members of the team.'

Ballesteros's form is decidedly uneven. He finished joint third in the Dubai Open, where he played all four rounds under par, but missed the cut in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Singapore.

Ballesteros will have strong competition this week in a field that includes his Ryder Cup colleagues, Ronan Rafferty, Colin Montgomerie, David Gilford, Steven Richardson and Sam Torrance.

-------------------------------------------------------------------- CARD OF THE COURSE -------------------------------------------------------------------- Hole Yards Par Hole Yards Par 1st 530 5 10th 487 5 2nd 209 3 11th 367 4 3rd 393 4 12th 202 3 4th 359 4 13th 394 4 5th 582 5 14th 162 3 6th 416 4 15th 518 5 7th 348 4 16th 199 3 8th 196 3 17th 511 5 9th 381 4 18th 457 4 Out: 3,414 36 In: 3,297 36 Total: 6,711 72 --------------------------------------------------------------------