McGinley's Cup aim

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The Independent Online
The lure of an Alfred Dunhill Cup place has persuaded Paul McGinley to make a late entry to the Hohe Brucke Open, which gets under way in Litschau, Austria, today.

The Irish line-up for October's world team event at St Andrews will be finalised after next week's Czech Open in Marianske Lazne. But two of the three places have already been decided.

Darren Clarke, the highest placed Irishman in the Sony rankings, and Philip Walton, the highest in the Volvo Order of Merit, are already assured of Cup places. The third spot is between Eamonn Darcy, Ronan Rafferty and McGinley.

Whoever of this trio finishes highest in the Order of Merit after the Czech event will play with Clarke and Walton.

Before last week's Scandinavian Masters in Malmo, McGinley - who only arrived in Austria yesterday - was the favourite for the final place.

But Darcy finished tied fourth in Malmo and won pounds 30,000, while McGinley, joint 14th, had to be content with pounds 9,162. It took Darcy from pounds 6,000 behind his rival to pounds 15,000 ahead and left the Dubliner with a problem.

"I wasn't going to play in Austria," McGinley said. "But after Eamonn jumped ahead of me, I didn't have much choice. I've played in the Dunhill Cup in both the past two years and I'm really keen to make it three in a row."