Golf: Success breeding success

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EUROPE'S winning Solheim Cup team will have next year's match and a pounds 22,500 top prize in their sights when they tee off in the BMW European Masters over the Bercuit course near here today, writes John Bolton from Brussels.

'It is wonderful to have the entire Solheim Cup team playing here. It shows their commitment to the Tour to have players here like Laura Davies, Trish Johnson, Helen Alfredsson and Alison Nicholas who have done so well in America,' Terry Coates, the Tour's chief executive, said.

Coates has been amazed at the growing interest in the Tour and is confident that will be reflected in the number of tournaments next year, when the team will travel by Concorde to defend the Solheim Cup in West Virginia. Such is the growth in interest that Sunningdale is a possible venue for the 1996 match.

Davies is the only member of the winning side among the top-five in the current standings who will eventually earn automatic places. Sweden's Annika Sorenstam, after her first two European events as a professional, leads the list.

'There are a lot of good young players coming through and everyone will have to work hard to make the team which is likely to be even stronger than the Dalmahoy team. This will be on everyone's mind this week,' Davies said.