Earn it or Beg for it

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The majors are over for 2008. We move on from Oakland Hills, leaving its monstrous back nine, raked rough and ridiculously placed national flags, and move on to Valhalla for the Ryder Cup.
 
The term Valhalla stands for the home of those gloriously slain in battle, according to Norse mythology. But who will come off worse for wear after three days of heated golfing competition? The next few weeks are going to be key in finding out who goes for the European side.
 
Both sides of the Atlantic are going to play a key part in whos in and whos out on the European side. The team is picked from two different rankings, a world points list derived from the world rankings and a European points list using money earned from European Tour events. With three events left in both the U.S. and Europe there are realistically two or three spots up for grabs.
 
Because the world points list takes precedence, it appears the following are good to make the team:
 
Padraig Harrington
Lee Westwood
Sergio Garcia
Henrik Stenson
Robert Karlsson
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Greame McDowell
 
The players on the bubble right now are: (*indicating currently qualified)
 
Justin Rose*
Oliver Wilson*
Soren Hansen*
Ian Poulter
Martin Kaymer
Ross Fisher
Nick Dougherty
Soren Kjeldsen
Paul Casey
 
Rose is a strong player and needs to be on the side, but because hes not safe right now he has changed his schedule to play in Europe next week at the KLM Open in Holland and the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles the following week. On the flip side, it seems Ian Poulter and Paul Casey will try and do it Stateside; surely though a victory is needed to gain enough world ranking points to creep-in. Realistically, Poulter and Casey will probably have to rely on a pick from captain Nick Faldo.
 
ANNIKA QUIETLY BOWS OUT
 
Annika Sorenstam played her final event on Swedish home soil last week. In this the stepping away from the game year it would have been fitting for Annika to take victory. Sadly for Annika, Amy Yang the 19-year-old South Korean, carded a final-round 63 for a come-from-behind victory, her third career LET win. Sorenstam closed with a 72 to tie for sixth in the event, which she hosts, the Scandinavian TPC hosted by Annika.
 
Sorenstams final tournament on European soil will be the Nykredit Masters in Denmark in early September. She is set to finish her season at the Dubai Ladies Masters, the final LET event of the year in December.
 
ELSEWHERE
 
  • Chris Wood, winner of the silver medal at this years Open Championship, will play as a sponsors invite in the SAS Masters this week. Wood will make his professional debut. Dudley Hart and Tony Finau are also invitees to Sweden.
     
  • The LET visits Wales for the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe.
     
  • The Challenge Tour splits, with the top 32 on the rankings playing the Trophee du Golf Club de Geneve and the rest teeing it up at the Vodafone Challenge in Germany.
     
    Email your thoughts to Tom Abbott