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Ryder Cup points start this week on European Tour

The Canon European Masters event that begins this week in Switzerland represents the first opportunity for European golfers to win Ryder Cup points. Many of the top golfers in Europe will compete for the 250,000 Euro (£150,000) first prize and the chance to gain some early ranking points.

From this tournament, up to and including next year's BMW International Open, eligible players will receive one point for every Euro they win in ranking events. These include all European Tour events, plus the four majors, the 2000 American Express Championship, the 2001 Andersen Consulting Match Play and the 2001 NEC Invitational.

Lee Westwood will be hoping to kickstart his Ryder Cup qualification with a repeatwin. Allsport.

Lee Westwood travels to the Crans-sur-Sierre course hoping to defend the title he won in impressive fashion last year. That victory gave Westwood his third Tour victory in succession, an achievement only matched by Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros. He shot a final round 65 to beat Thomas Björn by two strokes.

Bjorn missed the 1999 Ryder Cup with a neck injury and is keen to get the 2001 qualifying campaign off to a winning start. He has been in fine form of late, and victory in last week's BMW International ensures that he will be one of the favourites in Switzerland.

A strong European Masters field also boasts five other members of the 1999 European Ryder Cup team: Paul Lawrie, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jiménez and Jarmo Sandelin. Faldo will be making a rare appearance on the European Tour. He is looking to compete in a 12th Ryder Cup and will play three of the next four European tournaments in an effort to make a good start to the qualifying process.

 

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