Golf; Woosnamin fight for Ryder Cup place

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The Independent Online
Ian Woosnam shot a five-under-par 67 in the first round of the Scandinavian Masters in Malmo yesterday and then expressed doubts about winning a Ryder Cup spot in September.

Woosnam, who finished one shot behind Ross McFarlane, Mike McLean, Paul Broadhurst and Frank Nobilo would do Bernard Gallacher, the European captain, a great favour if he could carry off this week's pounds 108,330 first prize.

That would virtually assure him of an automatic Cup place. Woosnam is currently lying 11th in the Cup points table and only the first 10 are selected automatically. Normally he could expect one of the two wild card places along with Nick Faldo, but Jose Maria Olazabal, another must for Europe, is suffering from an injured foot and is one place ahead of Woosnam.

But Woosnam or Olazabal need to start to collect more points if Gallacher is not forced to leave out one of three key players.

After this week there are three more tournaments before the team is announced, but Woosnam's major problem is that he is only playing in the USPGA championship in Los Angeles next week and then having two weeks off.

"I suppose I might put in an entry for the German Open. It would be a shame if I just missed out by a few thousand or did not get picked," he said.