Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Torrance's Hopefuls Having a Rank Time

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Torrance's Hopefuls Having a Rank Time

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMITH

SAM TORRANCE has tackled the job of Europe's Ryder Cup captain with all the passion and enthusiasm expected from a golfer to whom the historic tournament means so much.

Working through a list of Cup-associated engagements as long as his broomstick putter, Torrance has shaken hands with sponsors and suppliers, parried probing from the media and played generous host to US skipper Curtis Strange during a visit to The Belfry, venue for September's event.

Yet, as the Scot prepares to make one of his rare playing appearances in tomorrow's opening round of the British Masters at Woburn, he may be forgiven for fearing Cup clangers are going to stop him naming a competitive side free of distracting controversies.

That the bidding process to choose a host venue for the 2009 Ryder Cup had been mismanaged was apparent even before a power struggle between the European Tour and the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA), the competition's joint custodians when it is staged in Europe, was madeembarrassingly public during

the Volvo PGA Championship at Wentworth last week.

It was there a considerable divot hit the fan when Tour chief Ken Schofield indicated Celtic Manor in Wales would get the nod, even though rival courses in Scotland and Northumberland have yet to make their final presentations.

What will concern Torrance is that the successful bid's identity will be formally revealed in Ryder Cup week.

The announcement will be accompanied by uproar as angry losers seek to placate high-profile backers.

As if that prospect is not enough to cause concern in the captain's cabin, the strength and form of Europe's 12-man team could have Torrance reaching for the painkillers.

He backs the selection system which offers automatic call-ups to the top 10 in the Ryder Cup points table at the conclusion of the BMW International Open in September, with the side being completed by two captain's wildcard picks. …

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