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Martin Kaymer aiming for Ryder Cup push

German Martin Kaymer is on the brink of a Ryder Cup debut as he prepares for the Dutch (KLM) Open starting on Thursday.

The 23-year-old from Dusseldorf, twice a winner this season, is only 272 points away from the 10th and final qualifying place for Nick Faldo’s Valhalla team with two events left to count.

A 14th place in last week’s Scandinavian Masters drew Kaymer up to the absent Soren Hansen’s 10th automatic spot.

This week at Kennemer’s links at Zandvoort he will try to go past the Dane and the two other players in the firing line in eighth and ninth place on the table, Britons Justin Rose and Oliver Wilson.

Kaymer, in 11th spot, is only 3,312 points behind ninth-placed Wilson. Hansen trails Wilson by just 3,040 points.

“It’s getting really tight now for the last few places, but I’m not feeling the pressure,” Kaymer told Reuters. “I see it as a challenge and in fact I’m enjoying it.”

The German plays the North Sea course for the first time, happy that the hard work on his putting is paying off as he completes the final two laps of his Ryder Cup bid.

“Everything comes down to the putting, especially at match play,” he said.

Hansen, Wilson and Rose, who are also seeking a Ryder Cup debut, are in the field this week with 300,000 points on offer for victory.

Eighth-placed Rose, who has a 57,816 points advantage over Wilson, has returned to Europe to try to protect his position. However, victory in the Netherlands would get the Englishman into the team via the Ryder Cup world points table.

The Dutch scramble for the final three places on Europe’s team also involves the titleholder Ross Fisher (13th on the Cup table), last week’s runner-up Nick Dougherty (14th), another Dane, Soren Kjeldsen (15th) and last week’s Scandinavian Masters winner Peter Hanson of Sweden (17th).

Darren Clarke, hoping to catch Nick Faldo’s eye for one of the two wild-cards, is also at Kennemer.

British Open runner-up Ian Poulter, 12th on the combined Cup table, plays in the United States this week, hoping to seal his place via the world points list.

Paul Casey, 16th on the table and with no chance of qualifying from the world points list, is scheduled to play on the U.S. PGA tour for the next two weeks, which will mean the Englishman having to rely on a wild card.

August 20, 2008


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