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Torrance looking for form from team

After seeing Thomas Bjorn and Bernhard Langer finish first and joint second in Germany last Sunday, nothing would please Sam Torrance more than to have Phil Price and Lee Westwood doing precisely the same in Switzerland this week.

The two members of Torrance's Ryder Cup team currently outside the world's top 100 compete side by side in the Omega European Masters starting today - and to win they will have to beat Open champion Ernie Els and last year's US Open champion Retief Goosen.

The two South Africans are currently first and second in the Order of Merit and, along with Bjorn, are the favourites for the £159,000 top prize at Crans-sur-Sierre.

Westwood and Price, however, are looking for confidence-boosting performances with the match at The Belfry now only three weeks away.

How Torrance uses Price, one of his four rookies, remains to be seen - and how the Welshman plays the next two weeks could have a big say in that.

Price's last victory was 17 months ago and after successive third-place finishes at the start of June the rest of the summer has been a disappointment.

Former Order of Merit winner Westwood has not won for 23 months and has not even had a top-10 finish for over a year, but 15th place in the NEC world championship in Seattle last year - against a field that contained all the world's top 50 - significantly raised his morale.

"Every decent performance is going to give me more confidence," said the 29-year-old.

"I'm pretty sure about a couple of things I'm working on now and seem to have integrated them a bit. Hope-fully it will get better and better."

Torrance is looking for Westwood to continue his partnership with Darren Clarke against the Americans.

At Brookline three years ago they gained the notable scalps of Tiger Woods and David Duval, Nos 1 and 2 in the world at the time.

The immediate target for Price and Westwood is to try to qualify for the American Express world championship at Mount Juliet in Ireland the week before the Ryder Cup.

That is restricted to the sport's top 50 based on the rankings next Monday, plus the leading players on various Orders of Merit around the world.

In Europe's case it is the top 20 after next week's German Masters. Price currently stands 40th on the money list and 109th in the world, Westwood 73rd on the Order of Merit and 129th in the world.


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