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Swede Pettersson close to ruling out Ryder Cup spot

Written by: Staff
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AKRON, Ohio, Aug 24 (Reuters) Sweden's Carl Pettersson concedes he has virtually no chance of making his Ryder Cup debut for Europe in Ireland next month.

He needs to win this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to get into the team via the world ranking points list and has all but ruled out a late call-up as one of European captain Ian Woosnam's two wildcard picks.

''I'd love to play and I'd love to get in on the points and not have to wait on the captain's pick,'' the 28-year-old told reporters at Firestone Country Club yesterday.

''We'll just have to wait and see. But it would be a surprise if I got a call (as one of the two wildcard selections).'' Asked whether he had been consulted by Woosnam in the build-up to the team's selection, Pettersson replied: ''No I haven't heard from him.

''It doesn't really disappoint me but it surprises me a little bit. I would have thought he would have called a few guys who were close to making it.

''But it's his choice. He's the captain and he needs to do what he thinks is right.'' IMPRESSIVE FORM North Carolina-based Pettersson, who plays mainly on the PGA Tour, has displayed impressive form in the US this season.

He has produced six top-10s in 21 starts, including his second PGA Tour victory at the prestigious Memorial tournament in early June.

''But I haven't done that much for the last three or four weeks, ever since the British Open,'' Pettersson added.

The Swede tied for eighth in the British Open at Hoylake before missing the cut in his next two European Tour events and also at last week's PGA Championship.

''I'm just going to play and see what happens,'' he said. ''If it happens, it happens. If not, it's not end of the world.'' Pettersson lies 10th in the European world points standings and has to win this week if he is to dislodge Colin Montgomerie from fifth spot.

The leading five in the world points table automatically qualify for the Sept. 22-24 Ryder Cup, along with the leading five in the European points standings, taken from the Tour's order of merit.

Woosnam will then add his two wildcard picks after next week's BMW International Open in Munich to complete the 12-man team.

Britain's Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn are all in the frame for wildcard selection.

REUTERS VJ BST0419

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