Golf: Faldo doubles commitment

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NICK FALDO said yesterday he aims to play both the United States and European Tours next year in an attempt to win a Ryder Cup place. "It's a lot of golf and a long season but the goal is to make the [European] team as quickly as possible and then decide what to do after that," he said.

Faldo, who has endured a prolonged lean spell on the US Tour this year, lines up in the European Masters today in Crans-sur-Sierre in search of his lost form and Ryder Cup points. He has been Europe's most successful player in his record 11 consecutive appearances in the biennial event. However, the 41-year-old, winner of six majors, is well aware that he can no longer be guaranteed a place in the European team as a wild card.

Europe defend the 1999 Ryder Cup against the US at the Country Club, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The Masters launches Europe's Ryder Cup points campaign and Faldo's initial target is the 133,000 points on offer to the winner at Crans-sur-Sierre. He has also committed himself to four of the remaining seven events on the European calendar this season.

"Ryder Cup points are everybody's goal," Faldo said, "and I want to get out and get started earning some points. I don't want to go through all the wild card situation again and I want to get in fair and square this time. It's the main reason for coming back to Europe. I want to get started right away and see how much I can accumulate."