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Sergio Garcia making Ryder Cup push

The lure of the Ryder Cup has prompted Sergio Garcia to spurn the U.S. Tour and commit to the European circuit for the next three weeks.

"I want to get my points for the Ryder Cup," the 26-year-old Spaniard told reporters on the eve of the Scottish Open.

"I want to make a bit of an extra effort to get my place in the team, which I want to be in."

Europe will be defending the trophy when they take on the U.S. in the biennial match at the K Club in Ireland between Sept. 22 and 24.

Garcia, who plays most of his golf in the U.S., is ninth on the Ryder Cup points table and does not feel he will need to rely on being one of captain Ian Woosnam's two wild-card choices.

"I should make the team by myself," he said. "I am in the team right now and I just need a couple of good weeks and that should be enough."

After the Scottish Open, world number nine Garcia will play in next week's British Open at Hoylake and in the Players' Championship of Europe in Germany the following week.

Despite showing enormous potential in his early years as a professional, Garcia has yet to land a breakthrough major.

"We always try to win majors but it is not a career-changing thing," said the Spaniard. "It would be great to pull one off but hopefully all the work I have been doing will pay off."

Asked if that was his way of easing the pressure, Garcia said: "I would love to win but if I didn't mind, then the last two and a half weeks I spent at home I would have just laid by the pool or the beach doing nothing.

"But that's not the case. I worked very hard to get my game in good shape."

At the other end of the age spectrum, veteran Fred Couples says he can still it mix it with the best.

"I'm not at a spot quite yet where I think age is a factor," said the 46-year-old American as he prepared to make a rare appearance in Europe.

"When I do well I don't think it is surprising, and I do the same things I did 10 or 12 years ago. I hit the ball very solid and very long."

To prove his point, former champion Couples finished in a tie for third place at the U.S. Masters in April.

July 13, 2006


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