Golf / The Open Championship: Bullish indicators for Ryder Cup

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BERNARD GALLACHER, Europe's Ryder Cup captain, yesterday noted the poor American showing in the Open and said: 'We should have nothing to fear at The Belfry in September.' The highest United States finishers at Sandwich on Sunday were Corey Pavin, in joint fourth place, and Fred Couples and Scott Simpson in joint ninth.

Gallacher said: 'Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer played superbly. It was a very good Open from our point of view and those who were preparing to write stories about the Americans being stronger than us will have to rewrite now.'

Gallacher added: 'It's not been lost on me that Seve Ballesteros's best two performances have come in the US Masters (11th) and Open (27th).'

Two years ago Gallacher named Faldo as one of his wild cards immediately after the Open when there was no chance of him picking up one of the nine automatic places in the team.

Ballesteros is in 35th place in the points table, but Gallacher is not intending to do the same with the Spaniard. 'I'm not going to name him now. I'm going up to the last minute with my three wild cards.'

RYDER CUP Leading standings: Europe (1pt per pounds 1 won): 1 N Faldo (Eng) 472,332pts; 2 B Langer (Ger) 384,393; 3 B Lane (Eng) 362,667; 4 M James (Eng) 332,069; 5 C Montgomerie (Sco) 325,183, 6 S Torrance (Sco) 313,322; 7 C Rocca (It) 291,775; 8 J M Olazabal (Sp) 268,758; 9 P Broadhurst (Eng) 241,669; 10 J Haeggman (Swe) 240,976; 11 J Spence (Eng) 232,500; 12 S Richardson (Eng) 231,491; 13 M Roe (Eng) 224,402; 14 G Brand Jnr (Sco) 212,109; 15 D Gilford (Eng) 211,716; 16 J Payne (Eng) 206,734; 17 S Lyle (Sco) 201,155; 18 M A Jimenez (Sp) 191,766; 19 J Parnevik (Swe) 188,277; 20 I Woosnam (Wal) 186,887.

United States (pts for top-10 finishes): 1 F Couples 1,040; 2 P Azinger 987; 3 T Kite 953; 4 L Janzen 873; 5 P Stewart 798; 6 C Pavin 767; 7 J Cook 697; 8 D Love 640; 9 C Beck 574; 10 J Gallagher Jnr 567; 11 M O'Meara 506; 12 D Forsman 484; 13 R Mediate 453; 14 T Lehman 434; 15 J Maggert 431; 16 K Clearwater 419; 17 L Mize 405; 18 B Faxon 398; 19 D Edwards 380; 20 R Floyd 377.