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Maruyama's form to late for President's Cup

Japan's Shigeki Maruyama has made a late-season leap into the top 35 money winners on the PGA Tour, thanks largely to his victory Sunday at the Greensboro Classic.

But Maruyama's move comes too late for him to be considered for next month's Presidents Cup golf showdown in South Africa between the United States and the International squad of non-European talent in a Ryder Cup-styled format.

Qualifying for the event was completed after August's PGA Championship and when the event is hosted by the U.S. squad, it is played in September.

This year's event is only the second Presidents Cup outside U.S. soil, the first being the International's only triumph and coming in Australia in December of 1998.

Extending the qualification period to a month before the event whenever it is played would allow for players who are hot at the right time to have a better chance of playing their way onto a team.

"Ultimately, you want the best players in current form to be playing," said Australia's Stuart Appleby, who will play on the International team. "I would like to see the team picked no more than a month before the event."

If current rankings were used rather than those from mid-August after the year's final major, Maruyama and South Korea's K.J. Choi would have claimed automatic berths on the International squad, bumping Aussies Stephen Leaney and Peter Lonard.

Choi will play in South Africa as one of Gary Player's captain's choices, the only Asian on the International squad.

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