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Peter Hanson aiming to seal Ryder Cup place
August 25, 2010

Even after winning the Czech Open last weekend, Peter Hanson can’t afford to sit on his laurels going into the Johnnie Walker Championship.

Hanson’s second win this year on the European Tour lifted the Swede to eighth in the points race for the nine automatic Ryder Cup spots. This week’s Johnnie Walker marks the last chance for Europeans at securing a definite spot.

While in line to gain Europe team selection for the first time, Hanson needs to also finish high enough this week to head off three other players who are also competing in the Scottish Highlands.

They include Miguel Angel Jimenez, ninth on the points table, and the England pair of Ross McGowan (12th) and Simon Dyson (13th).

Jimenez is only 25,932 points adrift of Hanson, which equates to a top-14 result in Scotland, whereas McGowan and Dyson could go ahead of both players with either a first- or second-place result.

Of the top nine on Europe’s list, only Hanson, Jimenez and sixth-placed Ross Fisher of England have entered the Johnnie Walker.

“It is going to be very hard to refocus after last week but then this is another tournament and I have to try and do my best,” Hanson said.

“I will play the best I can to keep other people behind me, and of course, Miguel, now he decided to play.

“I played with Miguel in last Sunday’s final round, and he got asked right after we were done if he would use his top-10 exemption to play this week, and he said no.

“That pretty much got me even more motivated to try and win the playoff, and now I am here and he’s here and playing and that changes everything.”

Jimenez revealed he’d intended this week to attend a nephew’s wedding in Spain but instead decided to concentrate on making his fourth Ryder Cup.

At the Czech Open on Sunday, Hanson won when he holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with England’s Gary Boyd and Ireland’s Peter Lawrie.

Hanson is no stranger to team competition, having played for Europe in last year’s losing Vivendi Trophy side. He was also a member of the Colin Montgomerie-captained European Royal Trophy team in Thailand. Hanson believes those experiences will put him in good stead for the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in October.

“If I make the Ryder Cup team, I think having played in the Vivendi Trophy and playing under Colin’s captaincy in the Royal Trophy will help,” Hanson said.

“I played with Ryo Ishikawa in that match and had a great time against him. I have played three Seve Trophies or Vivendi Trophies, and I really enjoyed it. I love match-play, and the playoff last week was a bit of a match-play situation.”

Hanson said he updated Montgomerie and vice captain Thomas Bjorn after the Czech Open and reiterated his Ryder Cup hopes. If Hanson fails to qualify for Europe, he believes Monty will not choose him as a captain’s pick. “No, I don’t think he would pick me,” Hanson said.

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