England’s Oliver Wilson remained on course for automatic Ryder Cup selection after just managing to make the second-round cut at the Johnnie Walker Championship on Friday.
Wilson managed a second round 72 for a 148 total to make the cut by one shot, while German Martin Kaymer, Wilson’s major rival in the race for a top 10 automatic spot, missed putts on the final two greens to fail by one shot to qualify for the finals rounds.
The European team meets the USA in Kentucky from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21.
“I’m proud of myself,” said Wilson, poised now to become the first player ever to play for Europe against the Americans without winning a tournament in his professional career.
“That was the biggest round of my career. It was not the front nine I wanted, but it was the back nine I needed,” he said.
With Justin Rose and Soren Hansen on the verge of clinching a first cap as well, Wilson now has to hold off the challenge of only Nick Dougherty and Ross Fisher.
But Dougherty has to finish first or second on Sunday and Fisher has to be in the top three — and at halfway they are way down the field on one under and level par respectively.
Frenchman Gregory Havret still leads on seven under par, overcoming a shank with the second shot of his day to add a two under 71 to his opening 68. Kaymer was understandably dejected.
As Lee Westwood had feared would be the case, he fell victim to greens which the former European No. 1 said should be ripped up before the course stages the 2014 Ryder Cup.
“I was playing very well, but the greens were ridiculous,” said the 23-year-old, who despite two wins this year gives himself no chance of a wild card with so many big guns — Darren Clarke, Paul Casey, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Poulter, Paul McGinley — not qualifying on points either.
“They were really bumpy. All you could do is hit a good stroke and hope. It was really, really disappointing,” Westwood said.
Colin Montgomerie took a swipe at Ryder Cup rival Ian Poulter after boosting his bid for a place in the European squad.
Poulter and Montgomerie are competing for a wildcard spot in Nick Faldo’s line-up and the scrap is starting to turn ugly.
Montgomerie has been engaged in an increasingly vocal disagreement with Poulter, who is playing in the Deutsche Bank Championship in the US.
Poulter’s suggestion that the Scot should stop talking about his rivals and concentrate on his own game drew a withering response from Montgomerie.
“Did he really?” Montgomerie said after a second-round 70 at Gleneagles had kept alive his wild card hopes. “Oh well, it is nice to be told what to do by one so young and one so inexperienced.”
“Can you believe he said that? The only reason that we said ‘a hotline to Faldo’ is because he is the only one saying it. No one [else] is. He did say he has spoken to Nick. Has anyone else said that? No. Right, then. It is Nick Faldo’s decision,” Westwood said.