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Garcia aiming to play way into Ryder Cup

Sergio Garcia said he does not want to be a wild card pick for the European Ryder Cup team for this September's matches at The Belfry -- he dearly wants to play himself onto the team.

"I hope I'm not a wild card because I want to get into the Ryder Cup by the way I play," said the dynamic 21-year-old Spaniard after his victory at the Buick Classic on Monday.

Garcia collected $630,000 for his three-shot triumph over 1989 Masters runner-up Scott Hoch, but the Spaniard gets no credit on the European points list for the Ryder Cup, which counts only majors and world championship events besides those on the European Tour.

The top 10 points leaders earn automatic bids on the 12-man team, with two additional players getting on the team through Captain's picks.

European captain Sam Torrance has already indicated that Garcia would be one of his choices should he finish outside the top 10, but there are other prominent players that could be candidates including Jesper Parnevik of Sweden, Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain and Bernhard Langer of Germany.

"I think that we are going to need those two and I am just going to try to do my best to get it myself," said Garcia, who collected 3 1/2 points out of five in his Ryder debut in 1999 at Brookline.

Garcia plans to play at Loch Lomond and at the British Open and later at the PGA Championship -- three events where his results would count in Ryder points standings.

"If I don't play well enough at Loch Lomond, the British and PGA and I don't get into the NEC then I will probably come back to Europe to play in the BMW and try to get some points there too to be able to make the Ryder Cup team," he said.

Earlier on Monday, Nick Faldo, a member of 11 Ryder Cup teams, added his voice to calls for a change in the points system to allow top European players to accumulate Ryder points despite playing on other tours, such as the lucrative U.S. PGA Tour.

"The bottom line is we will have to review it, and have a 'wherever you play. Have a world tour,'" said Faldo, who shot a final-round of two-over 73 on Monday to finish at even-par, 16 strokes behind Garcia.

"Sure it's a big issue. We got away with it in the past (captain's picks). The two picks have just about worked out. This time, two picks don't look enough."

Faldo is one of many top Europeans now playing primarily in the United States and showing flashes of the form that has brought him three British Open and three Masters championships.

"I'm on the outside of the bubble. I've been there, done that. Let the young whipper snappers play," said Faldo. "But for the future, something needs to be done."

Said Garcia: "It is not in my hands right now or any of the players' hands. It is something that they have to take a look at and realise that we are playing on the best Tour and unfortunately we are not able to get points from these to count on the European Ryder Cup standings."

 


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