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Ian Woosnam wants players form to improve

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam was hoping on Tuesday for a surge in form by a trio of players in order to avoid a wild-card problem.

On Sept. 3, the Welshman has to decide which two names to add to 10 automatic qualifiers for his team for the match against the U.S. at the K Club in Ireland later that month. Padraig Harrington improved his position in the Ryder Cup table to sixth by finishing second in last week's French Open.

Woosnam wants to see similar form from Spain's Sergio Garcia and Ireland's Paul McGinley, who are clinging on to places in the side, and Briton Luke Donald, now out of the top 10.

"Over the last four weeks the team has really changed and we now have some players in that I wanted in," Woosnam told reporters at the K Club, which is also hosting this week's European Open.

"Guys are struggling, though, Garcia and McGinley a little bit, and you've got Luke Donald.

"They [Garcia and Donald] may have only the [British] Open and U.S. PGA Championship to get world ranking points. It would be nice for them to get a few tournaments in over here."

Woosnam will get his wish when the duo return from the U.S. for next week's Scottish Open and the British Open at Hoylake the week after.

While Donald has committed to several European events leading up to selection, Garcia's return may be brief.

Woosnam can offer encouragement to the out-of-form McGinley when he plays later this week alongside the Irishman who sank the winning putt in the 2002 Ryder Cup.

"I think I'll put my arm around his shoulder and just tell him the game of golf can change in one week. If he wins this week we won't be talking about it again," said the Welshman.

McGinley's fellow countryman Harrington was in buoyant mood on Tuesday.

"I'm quite confident I'm going to make the team from where I am now," said Harrington.

"I never wanted to be left in the position of having to be picked."

July 5, 2006

 




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