Dyson sprints from PGA to Czech Open in pursuit of Ryder Cup spot

simon dyson
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Simon Dyson is 16th in the race for places on Colin Montgomerie's European Ryder Cup side with two events to go, and he will be at both at them.
By
Mark Garrod
PA Sport

Series:

Simon Dyson provided the starkest contrast imaginable to Europe's stay-away Ryder Cup stars.

Dyson flew overnight from Chicago to London after his 12th-place finish at the PGA Championship, then caught another plane to Prague and then a train to Ostrava for the European Tour’s Czech Open, which starts on Thursday.

The 32-year-old from England is 16th in the race for places on Colin Montgomerie's European Ryder Cup side with two events to go, and he will be at both at them.

Victory at the Prosper Resort in Celadna on Sunday would almost certainly take Dyson into the top nine and would bump Paul Casey out of an automatic qualifying spot.

Casey, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Justin Rose have all stated they want to stay in America for the start of the FedExCup playoffs next week, and if Casey does fall out of the top nine at least one of the quartet will miss out on a wild card.

"Last week was the best I struck the ball for four straight days ever and I'm going to give it my all now to try to make the side," Dyson said. "This might be the best chance I ever have of winning a Ryder Cup cap and Whistling Straits has given me a massive boost in confidence.

"I didn't miss a drive all week, my three woods were good, my irons were good,” he explained. "I can't wait for the next two weeks. If I hole a few putts I will be contending in both of them. It's very exciting. And after the course I've just played, the Czech Open one is going to feel so much easier."

Dyson came 17th on it last year, finishing nine strokes behind Swedish winner Oskar Henningsson.

Another threat to Casey, Harrington, Donald and Rose is Dyson's stablemate Ross McGowan -- and he too has now committed to the next two tournaments despite suffering recently from a trapped nerve around his collarbone. At 11th in the standings, McGowan would need 'only' a top-four finish either this weekend or at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to move above Casey, although he has not had one of those all year.

McGowan sounded on Sunday afternoon as though he wanted to skip the arduous trip to the Czech Open.

"I'm veering towards not playing, but I have just shot 81," he said before time to reflect on what is at stake led to a change of mind.

Runner-up to Lee Westwood in the Dubai World Championship last November, McGowan was in the top nine right from the first week of qualifying last September, but then hurt his wrist at Wentworth three months ago. He made the next three cuts, but then missed four in a row, including the British Open, where he followed an opening 68 with an 80, and while the right wrist improved the left shoulder problem developed.

"I almost didn't play in Akron (the Bridgestone Invitational) and the same with the PGA. On Monday and Tuesday I didn't hit balls and Wednesday it was just a few,” he said. "It was good to make the cut considering, but by Sunday it was pretty tired. It's very frustrating and gutting and for my long-term career, it probably needs rest."

That will now come, though, after he has made every effort to grab a cup debut like Dyson.