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European Ryder Cup scoring starts this week

The Omega Masters in Switzerland this week is the starting line for Europeans to earn Ryder Cup points, although some players again face tough decisions about how much they want to make the team.

Jesper Parnevik, Justin Rose, Greg Owen and Fredrik Jacobson are among those who will not be listed in either of the Ryder Cup standings -- money and world ranking points -- because they do not plan to play the minimum 11 tournaments to retain their European tour membership this year.

Parnevik is 130th on the PGA Tour money list, and his first goal is to keep his card. Rose moved up to 66th on the money list with his tie for third at the Buick Championship, although at No. 93 in the world he would be better served playing on the PGA Tour to help improve his ranking and get into the majors.

``I'm going to join the European tour as of the end of the season,'' Rose said. ``That'll make me eligible for the Ryder Cup, but then I'll obviously have to play fantastically well to force my way onto the team. I'll be a little behind the guys, but if you play well ... you can do it.''

If they had played well this year, it might have been easier.

Top players such as Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, Darren Clarke and Luke Donald have an easier time keeping membership on both tours because they are eligible for the four majors and three World Golf Championships. That means they have to play only four European tour events.

Parnevik played in the Masters and PGA Championship, leaving nine European events he would have had to play.

Harrington sees nothing wrong with Ryder Cup players having to keep membership on the European tour.

``Eleven isn't too much to ask, is it?'' he said. ``You only have to play four extra events, and if you're good enough to be on the team, you'll be in the top 50 in the world ranking.''

Jacobson has played just five European Tour events this year. He is 77th in the world ranking and has two months left to try to get into the top 50, which would make him eligible for the majors next year. Plus, Jacobson's wife is expecting their second child in January. They live in south Florida.

``I need to focus on this place and be with my family,'' he told England's Press Association news agency. ``It's disappointing, because I'd love to play in the Ryder Cup. But I can't see myself changing everything for one week.''

 

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