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Preview: ISPS Handa Wales Open

 

Lawrie has eye on making Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales (AP) Paul Lawrie will keep pushing for a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team this week at the Wales Open, following his second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship.

Lawrie won his seventh European Tour title in February at the Qatar Masters and was third in the World Match Play Championship the week before Wentworth, where he was two shots behind Luke Donald. Lawrie has six top-10 finishes this year and a growing belief that he could make the Ryder Cup team for the first time since his debut in 1999.

``It would be the biggest achievement of my career,'' said Lawrie, who won the British Open in 1999. ``I've never hidden the fact, this year the Ryder Cup is really the only big thing I am interested in doing. I would love to play in that team.''

Lawrie's performance means he's been penciled into Jose Maria Olazabal's Ryder Cup team.

``I think Paul's pretty much in after what he did last week,'' Olazabal said. ``If he plays just decent golf from now on I think he is pretty much in the team. He proved last week that he must have played really well to shoot 6-under par (66) in the last round and finish second on that golf course, which is a huge challenge.''

The Wales Open starts on Thursday at Celtic Manor, where Europe won the Ryder Cup in 2010, and Lawrie's playing partner will be Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal. Defending champion Alexander Noren of Sweden is hoping for a repeat of the same pattern of success he enjoyed last year.

In the same week in 2011, Noren qualified for the U.S. Open on the Monday and later in the week won the Wales Open.

At the start of this week, he again qualified for the second major of the year.

``It was pretty much exactly the same as it happened last year,'' Noren said. ``I was so pleased to get into the U.S Open (last year), so I relaxed because I was on a high. Winning here was fantastic and everything went on from there. It's just nice to be back with all the memories.''

Also entered are Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinaro, and 2002 U.S. PGA Championship winner Rich Beem.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
ISPS Wales Open field
Warren AberyFelipe AguilarFredrik Andersson Hed
Matthew BaldwinRich BeemThomas Bjorn
Richard BlandKnut BorsheimGregory Bourdy
Gary BoydMarkus BrierMichael Campbell
Jorge CampilloAlejandro CanizaresMagnus A. Carlsson
Christian CevaerS.S.P. ChowrasiaGeorge Coetzee
Robert ColesFederico ColomboRhys Davies
Carlos Del MoralDaniel DenisonRobert-Jan Derksen
David DixonAndrew DodtJamie Donaldson
Bradley DredgeDavid DrysdaleEdouard Dubois
Johan EdforsJamie ElsonRhys Enoch
Niclas FasthJoe FergusonGonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Kenneth FerrieDarren FichardtRichard Finch
Oliver FisherRoss FisherTommy Fleetwood
Oscar FlorenMark FosterMarcus Fraser
Lorenzo GagliStephen GallacherJordi Garcia
Ignacio GarridoJean-Baptiste GonnetRicardo Gonzalez
Estanislao GoyaRichard GreenEmiliano Grillo
Julien GuerrierMark F. HaastrupAlex Haindl
Anders HansenAndreas HartoeGregory Havret
Benjamin HebertPeter HedblomScott Hend
Michael HoeyKeith HorneDavid Horsey
David HowellJeppe HuldahlSam Hutsby
Mikko IlonenTed Innes KerRaphael Jacquelin
Thongchai JaideeScott JamiesonMiguel Angel Jimenez
Richard JohnsonAndrew JohnstonMichael Jonzon
Simon KhanJames KingstonSoren Kjeldsen
Jbe' KrugerMaarten LafeberJoakim Lagergren
Zhiqun LamJose Manuel LaraPablo Larrazabal
Paul LawriePeter LawrieCraig Lee
Thomas LevetTom LewisSimon Lilly
Sam LittleShane LowryJoost Luiten
Mikael LundbergDavid LynnMatteo Manassero
Andrew MarshallPablo MartinGareth Maybin
Richard McEvoyPaul McGinleyRoss McGowan
Damien McGraneEdoardo MolinariFrancesco Molinari
Colin MontgomerieJames MorrisonJamie Moul
George MurrayChristian NilssonAlexander Noren
Thomas NorretSteven O'HaraJose Maria Olazabal
Thorbjorn OlesenGary OrrHennie Otto
John ParryAndrea PavanPhillip Price
Rhys PughJulien QuesneRichie Ramsay
Brett RumfordRicardo SantosReinier Saxton
Jason ShufflebothamMarcel SiemJeev Milkha Singh
Joel SjoholmLee SlatteryTim Sluiter
Richard SterneGraeme StormScott Strange
Andy SullivanNaoya TakemotoSimon Thornton
Steen TinningJaco Van ZylTjaart Van der Walt
Anthony WallRichard WallisMarc Warren
Romain WattelSteve WebsterPeter Whiteford
Bernd WiesbergerDanny WillettOliver Wilson
Chris WoodFabrizio ZanottiMatthew Zions
Strength of field
World RankPlayersNo. in Field
TOP 10None0
TOP 25None0
TOP 50Paul Lawrie (27),Francesco Molinari (29),Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (33),Matteo Manassero (43),Thomas Bjorn (44),David Lynn (45),Jamie Donaldson (47),George Coetzee (49),Thorbjorn Olesen (50)9
TOP 100Alexander Noren (51),Miguel Angel Jimenez (54),Richie Ramsay (55),Shane Lowry (57),Marcus Fraser (58),Marcel Siem (62),Anders Hansen (63),Bernd Wiesberger (68),Pablo Larrazabal (78),Fredrik Andersson Hed (88),Jeev Milkha Singh (93),Danny Willett (94),Stephen Gallacher (95),Ross Fisher (99),Thongchai Jaidee (100)15