Golf: Lane's Cup incentive

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The Independent Online
Barry Lane needs to recapture his putting stroke if his campaign to win a Ryder Cup place is to regain momentum when play begins in the Portuguese Open at Vila Sol today.

Lane, who has led the cup points race since October, has gone through a sticky patch on the greens. In his last three tournaments, the 32-year-old missed the half-way cut in Morocco and Majorca and came 47th in the Mediterranean Open.

Lane has earned pounds 255,000 in the 16 tournaments carrying qualifying points played so far, and probably needs only pounds 65,000 more from the 23 that remain to be part of Bernard Gallacher's European team at The Belfry in September. Sunday's winner receives pounds 41,660.

With Woosnam, Langer, Olazabal and Lyle all absent, Lane might well become the seventh English winner in nine events this season.