Don't pick me for Ryder Cup just yet, says dazzling Garcia

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The Independent Online

Garcia stormed into the half-way lead at the first qualifying event, the European Masters, here in Switzerland yesterday. His playing partner Woosnam was suitably impressed by the Spaniard's rounds of 66 and 65 for an 11-under-par total, but Garcia stated: "It doesn't mean anything. You have to play well all year long and you have to get to the Ryder Cup playing well.

"If I don't qualify and don't feel I am playing well I will tell Woosie that I think he could get somebody else better than me.

"I don't see it going that way, but it's an option. I am really confident I will make the team and I've just got to believe in myself. If I do that Woosie is not even going to have to pick me."

The one worrying part of Garcia's game at the moment is his putting. He is ranked 205th out of 206 on the US Tour this season, but the fact that he is ninth on the money list illustrates how well everything else is working.

Driving the green on the 341-yard fifth and holing the seven-foot eagle putt was the highlight of his round yesterday.

But Woosnam, whom he now calls "Cappy", said: "He's just a great player. He gives himself so many opportunities and that's fantastic for match play. He's long, he hits his irons well and he chips well. I've been watching his putting on television and he looked to be struggling a bit, but his stroke looked a lot better here."

A year ago Garcia opened the same tournament in the exact same fashion. He was only one ahead then, though, and finished joint third, six strokes behind the winner, Luke Donald.

"The course is playing tougher and I've just managed to play a bit better. I felt so good out there," he said.

As the second round drew to its close the 25-year-old held a five-stroke clubhouse lead over the Swede Pierre Fulke and Paul Broadhurst.

But out on the course Jean Van de Velde and Welshman Garry Houston were in joint second at seven under with three and eight holes to play, respectively

The defending champion Donald had two bogey sixes on his card and after 14 holes was seven adrift of Garcia.