McGinley raises Ryder hopes

Ireland’s Paul McGinley was continuing his battle to cement a place in the Ryder Cup team in the delayed KLM Open in Holland today.

Ireland’s Paul McGinley was continuing his battle to cement a place in the Ryder Cup team in the delayed KLM Open in Holland today.

McGinley looked certain to make the team for the K Club after winning the Volvo Masters at the end of last season, but has slowly slipped down the standings and currently occupies the final automatic qualifying place.

Just three weeks remain after this before the team is finalised, but there could still be plenty of changes with next week’s USPGA championship at Medinah followed by the lucrative WGC Bridgestone Invitational and the final counting event, the BMW International, in Munich.

McGinley’s chances of gaining some vital points in Zandvoort looked slim when he stood two over par after 14 holes of his first round, and then took a penalty drop on the 15th after his tee shot finished in a bush.

But the Dubliner salvaged a bogey five and then birdied the 16th and 17th to post a respectable 72, and was back to level par for the tournament after seven holes of today’s second round.

McGinley had played five holes this morning before a thunderstorm and torrential rain forced play to be suspended for two hours and 10 minutes. When play resumed at 11.15am local time, the 39-year-old picked up a birdie on the 15th to move to level par, six shots behind leaders Robert Rock, Anders Hansen and Christian Cevaer.

Former teaching professional Rock, 16th in the Open championship at Hoylake, was the only one to have started his round, a birdie at the second taking the midlander to six under.

Meanwhile, McGinley’s nearest rival for an automatic Ryder Cup place, England’s Paul Broadhurst, was struggling to make the halfway cut.

Broadhurst, 11th in the standings, was two over for his round today and four over par for the tournament and was doing little to impress playing partner and Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam.

Woosnam is a close friend of Broadhurst and admitted on Wednesday he hoped the 40-year-old would qualify, adding: “It’s difficult with Broady. He is one of my best friends and I might get criticised if I pick him, or if I leave him out.”

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