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Sam Torrance not helped by US Open

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance was hoping the US Open would help him out of a potential pickle, but in the event it has done him no favours.

Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia, Jesper Parnevik, Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer are still all outside the top ten in the race for places. If they stay there through the 13 remaining qualifying events, then three of them will not be facing the Americans at The Belfry in September.

From a European perspective, the second major of the year worked out best for Andrew Oldcorn and Paul McGinley - and they were not even there. The failures of the previously mentioned quintet have kept Oldcorn and McGinley on course for a first Ryder Cup outing.

Garcia’s crash from joint-third with a round to play to joint 12th - he shot a disappointing 77 in the last round - lifted him only two places to 14th in the standings.

Montgomerie’s 52nd place, his worst showing in ten appearances at the US Open, keeps him at 12th, while Faldo remains 19th after managing only a 16-over-par total at Southern Hills for 72nd spot.

Langer, who has had a second, two thirds and a sixth on the US Tour this year, is still outside the top 20 and Parnevik, who won in Florida in March, is outside the top 50.

The only change in the top ten was Mathias Gronberg replacing fellow-Swede Robert Karlsson at tenth. He did not exactly do it in style, though, trailing in joint 74th of the 79 players who made the halfway cut.

Jose Maria Olazabal’s position at eighth in the table is less secure too after his inability to reach the last two rounds.

All in all, with Lee Westwood, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Phillip Price and Pierre Fulke not lasting more than two days either - Price and Fulke were ill to be fair - Tulsa came up a long way short of expectations.

Next stop in the race is Slaley Hall on Thursday, but the feeling that Faldo and Parnevik have about Europe paying the price for keeping to only two wild cards is dangerously close to coming true.

The Ryder Cup board has announced a series of dates on which it will inspect four of the prospective host venues for the 2009 match.

A delegation will attend the Great North Open at Slaley Hall on Friday, then travel to the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond on 13 July, followed by the Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open on 10 August, and the Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship on 24 August.

Provision is also being made for delegates to visit Turnberry and Carnoustie, the two other prospective venues which are not hosting professional events in 2001. Those dates have still to be finalised.

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