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Tenth place Price feels the heat

Briton Phillip Price is the man under fire as the race to clinch places in Europe's Ryder Cup team enters its last lap at the BMW International starting on Thursday.

Price is in the most vulnerable spot in the Cup standings, occupying the 10th and last place that qualifies for captain Sam Torrance's team to play the United States at the Belfry in England next month.

While he knows that at least 10 players will be aiming to take over his coveted spot, the 34-year-old Welshman is refusing to look over his shoulder.

"There are so many guys out to overtake me this week, so I have to perform as well as I can," Price said on Wednesday.

"To give myself any chance I have to shoot as low as I can and not watch what everyone else is doing.

"This is definitely not a normal week because of the amount of focus people are putting on me and the attention I'm getting, so it won't be easy.

"I'll be relieved come Sunday night when I can get back to being normal.

"But I think this course favours me - I finished sixth here a couple of years ago - and it would be one of those I'd be quite happy to play in the position I'm in.

"I've got to get my putting going this week, though, because there are going to be birdies galore."

Price has been inundated by well-wishers since returning from America. "It's the only topic of conversation at the moment. Nobody wants to talk about anything else."

Briton Ian Poulter could be Price's greatest threat after the 2000 rookie of the year surged past Miguel Jimenez into 11th spot in the table.

"Obviously I helped myself last week with a decent finish in the NEC (Invitational) and now I have to finish the job," said Poulter, playing with a new driver after snapping the head off his old one at the 16th in Akron on Sunday, while making a practice swing.

Jimenez is only 88,873 points behind in 12th place. With a 300,000 points first prize, players down to at least 20th place can overtake Price, especially if he misses the cut.


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