Ryder Cup Tune-up


Ten of the 12 European Ryder Cup players will get a first-hand look at Septembers venue this week at the Benson & Hedges International Open.
The De Vere Belfry, where the postponed Cup matches will be contested Sept. 27-29, will pull double duty for one of the biggest non-major European Tour events of the season.
All 10 of the 2001 European Ryder Cup qualifiers will be in attendance in Sutton Coldfield, England. Captains picks Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik will be Stateside in the PGA Tours Verizon Byron Nelson Classic.
Click for the complete European Ryder Cup team
The Cup was originally scheduled at The Belfry for Sept. 2001, but was postponed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
The Benson & Hedges will sport one of the years premiere fields. John Daly, Retief Goosen, Jose Maria Olazabal, Nick Faldo, Adam Scott, Paul Lawrie, Michael Campbell and Justin Rose will join the Ryder Cuppers in pursuit of the first-place check.
Daly, who won last years BMW International Open, is scheduled to make his first start since withdrawing from the WorldCom Classic three weeks ago after injuring his right wrist during the first round.
With all the familiar names competing, it is lesser-known Henrik Stenson who will serve as defending champion.
Stenson won wire-to-wire in capturing his maiden tour title. The then 25-year-old Swede closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 13-under-par 275, three shots removed from runners-up Angel Cabrera and Paul McGinley.
The victory was an extension of his success on the developmental Challenge Tour (the European version of the U.S. Buy.Com Tour). Stenson won three times on the 2000 Challenge Tour. In all three events, he led entering the final round.
This is the third time The Belfry has hosted this event. Olazabal prevailed in 2000; he also won in 1990.
Full field and tee times for the Benson & Hedges International Open