Golf: Torrance upbeat over Ryder Cup qualifying

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Sam Torrance, Costantino Rocca, Mark James and David Gilford were members of the winning European Ryder Cup team at Oakhill, New York, two years ago, but the pressure is mounting as they strive to gain selection for this year's match at Valderrama, Spain.

The four are competing in the Dutch Open, starting at Hilversum today, and know only first or second place would seriously improve their chances of making the side.

There are only six tournaments to go before the team is chosen, with the leading 10 in the Cup table at the end of August automatic selections and Seve Ballesteros, the captain, having two choices, expected to be Nick Faldo and either Jesper Parnevik or Jose Maria Olazabal.

Thus the first prize here of pounds 116,660 and second prize of pounds 77,770 could put the four within sight of selection. Rocca, ninth in the cup table, has on paper the best chance of selection but has been in poor form.

Torrance, 13th in the table, feels more upbeat than the Italian. "I'm pounds 42,000 behind the 10th man and think I still have a good chance," the Scot said. James is lying 15th, while Gilford is 19th. "I think I need at least 350,000 and I am playing well at present, but I did all the damage last year when I won only pounds 8,000 in seven tournaments," James said. He and Gilford are playing the last five tournaments in Europe.