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Injury concerns worry Sam Torrance

The performances of Thomas Björn and Bernhard Langer in finishing in the top two places in the BMW International Open on Sunday would have come as a soothing balm for Sam Torrance’s fevered brow. Many of the Europe Ryder Cup team have endured runs of mediocre form that, in some cases, have run into months, so any small brightness in the gloom is bound to give Europe’s captain heart.

There are still many worries for Torrance, though, some of which concern form and two more surrounding fitness. Players such as Pierre Fulke, Jesper Parnevik, Paul McGinley, Phillip Price and until a more encouraging performance in the WGC-NEC Invitational last week, Lee Westwood, have not been at anything like their best. With time running out, Torrance will now have to rely on the occasion bringing something extra from these men.

Torrance will be monitoring the progress of Padraig Harrington and Colin Montgomerie this week. Although Harrington plodded on to finish in a tie for seventeenth in Bavaria, his ankle injury is very far from right. He is due to have a scan in the next day or so and will spend a couple of days later in the week with Bob Torrance, his coach, to make sure that the injury has not been caused by a swing that has gone out of kilter.

Montgomerie is due to play in the German Masters, in Cologne, next week and in the WGC-American Express event, in Kilkenny, the week before the Ryder Cup, but his chronic back problems persist. If neither Harrington nor Montgomerie is fit, Ian Poulter will come in as he was the eleventh man at the end of the qualifying process this time last year.

There are, too, persistent rumours that Parnevik is considering withdrawing from the team because of his poor form. Although he has denied it, he is clearly fretting about his game. If he were to pull out, Torrance would be at liberty to call on whoever he wants.

Poulter would be a possibility, but either Justin Rose or José María Olazábal would be more likely selections.


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