Parnevik in the frame for Ryder Cup

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The Independent Online
Colin Montgomerie gave a broad hint that Jesper Parnevik should be included in the European Ryder Cup team after the 30-year-old Swede won the Volvo Scandinavian Masters in superb style in Malmo yesterday.

Parnevik became the first Swede to win a European Tour event in his own country when he shot a five-under-par 67 to beat Montgomerie by five shots with a four-round total of 270, 18 under par.

"I just hope that Bernard Gallacher was watching," said Montgomerie, who began yesterday's round three shots behind Parnevik. "Jesper never missed a fairway, never missed a holeable putt, and was very cool even though he had the whole of Sweden on his back. I was very impressed. I birdied the second to put some pressure on him, but he just buckled down and got on with the job."

Parnevik has been playing regularly on the US Tour this year and Montgomerie said: "He has improved a great deal and people over here do not realise just how good he is. He has a very, very strong case for Ryder Cup selection. But this is now a difficult problem for Bernard."

Difficult indeed, for Gallacher has only two wild cards and one of those has to go to Nick Faldo, while both Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal, two other key players, may not finish in the top 10 of the points table to gain automatic selection.

Parnevik said: "I am really proud to be the first Swede to win before my own crowd. There was a tremendous amount of pressure but I was pleased with the way I coped with it."

Told that Montgomerie felt he should be in the Ryder Cup team, Parnevik, clearly pleased at the compliment, said: "We talked a little bit about it on the course today and I know that Monty is amazed that Europe only have two picks. Monty, I know, would like 12 picks but I know the problem."

While Parnevik and Montgomerie were battling for first place, Vijay Singh, who won this event last year, moved into third place on 277 by equalling the course record of 65.

Singh would probably have broken the record but, at the 17th, he thought he was 30 yards nearer the pin than he was in playing his second shot and went sailing over the green.

Eamonn Darcy, who still has hopes of making the Irish Dunhill Cup team to play at St Andrews in October, was joint fourth with Robert Allenby on 278, with the Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez one shot further back in sixth.

Jimenez has now moved above Woosnam in the Ryder Cup points table, into 11th place. So Gallacher could be faced with having to pick two men from Faldo, Parnevik, Woosnam and Olazabal, all of whom may miss the top 10.

Mark Roe was disqualified yesterday after signing an inaccurate card. He could also be fined for alleged unprofessional conduct after his playing partner, Mark Litton, complained that he had ruined his concentration.

Litton said Roe, faced with a six-inch putt at the 12th, knocked his ball 20 yards off the green. The referee, John Paramor, said the matter was being investigated and that Roe would be reported to the European PGA tournament committee.

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