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Scots hoping for home advantage

Andrew Coltart and Andrew Oldcorn, the two best-placed players in the European Ryder Cup table featured in this week's Scottish PGA Championship, intend on making home advantage count.

Across the Atlantic in Ohio at the NEC Invitational, Welshman Phillip Price will be desperately protecting his vulnerable 10th place in Europe's table.

With just these two events in America and Britain, which both start on Thursday, and then next week's BMW International in Munich left in the Ryder Cup race, both Scots can force their way into the automatic top-10 places.

But both also realize that they are at a disadvantage as far as the distribution of Ryder Cup points is concerned in the two concurrent events.

Even a top place at Gleneagles does not guarantee they can pry 10th place away from the obdurate Price -- such is the difference between the prize money on offer in the two events.

While Coltart, in 13th place in the table, and Oldcorn, 14th, scrap over a 263,034-points first prize, the winner of the NEC can expect 1,091,995 points, and even fifth place in Ohio this week earns 250,952 points, almost equivalent to winning at Gleneagles.

Price, who finished second in the NEC Invitational last year behind Tiger Woods, Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, currently 11th in the table, and 12th-placed Briton Ian Poulter have a distinct advantage playing in Akron.


"Circumstances might happen that if I, Andrew (Coltart) or Mathias Gronberg (lying 15th) were to win here, it wouldn't guarantee we would go into the top 10 because of the money involved in Ohio," Oldcorn said on Wednesday.

"I can't force a result here but I have to give myself something to play for in Munich. Anything worse than third and it's a done deal for me. But this is home and I have a target to aim for."

Coltart added: "I've won in Scotland before, so I'm looking forward to this week. I have a reasonable chance of winning or at least doing well, and that's what I've got to try to achieve."

European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance is playing in the Scottish PGA Championship this week and he said: "Never underestimate a Scot on home soil."

Coltart finished tied 37th and Oldcorn shared 44th spot last Sunday night in the US PGA Championship.

That left Coltart only 88,056 points behind 10th-placed Price, Oldcorn 109,621 points and Gronberg 119,405 points adrift.

Even though Price gets an automatic 50,000 points just for turning up at Akron this week, Oldcorn, who admits he is exhausted after a campaign which began with his European PGA win at Wentworth in May, believes the Welshman can be shot at.

"I look at Phillip and I'm sure he looks at me and we're both on our last legs to get over the finishing line," Oldcron said. "He's the man you've got to hit. There's only one spot to play for -- 10th."



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