2001: Garcia, Parnevik plan to earn Ryder Cup spots

Luss, Scotland

Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik announced at Loch Lomond that they still hope to make the European Ryder Cup team rather than have to rely on Sam Torrance’s two captain’s picks.

“I’m not that far away as it is,” said Garcia. “With a couple of good weeks I should be able to get in. First of all you never know if you’re going to be a wild card; that’s up to the captain. And secondly, if I’m able to make it, that’s one wild card the captain doesn’t have to use.”

The BMW International Open Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in Munich is the last event that counts toward Ryder Cup points. Parnevik is considering playing the BMW, but he hopes to have made the team by then.

“I’ll try my best to qualify,” Parnevik said. “Too many guys are not on the team right now the way I see it. I think Bernhard (Langer) and Sergio (Garcia) are the guys closest.”

Entry into Open: Fifteen players received exemptions into the British Open from the Loch Lomond tournament. Thomas Levet, Adam Scott, Ian Woosnam, Peter O’Malley, Niclas Fasth, Raphael Jacquelin and David Howell qualified for finishing top seven on a mini-Order of Merit that ended with the Scottish Open.

Meanwhile, Barry Lane, Brett Rumford, Greg Owen, Daren Lee, Frederik Jacobson, Geoff Ogilvy, Soren Hansen and John Bickerton qualified for Lytham as the top eight players at Loch Lomond not otherwise exempt.

Mild thing: John Daly, who tied for third at Loch Lomond, credited his return to form to taking control of his own life. The former “Wild Thing” was dubbed “Mild Thing” by one Scottish tabloid newspaper, after Daly revealed he is reformed.

“I’ve got a lot of good people around me now at home that just want to be my friend,” Daly said. “They don’t want anything from me. I’ve pretty much eliminated the hangers-on who want something from me and bled me dry.

“I don’t need 50 people saying they can do this and that for me, and ‘I can make you a lot of money.’ I don’t need that. . . . anymore. Nobody does.”

Daly signed with Callaway in 1997 but lost the contract because he violated drinking and gambling clauses. Part of the contract stated that Daly had to follow strict doctor’s orders. He said listening to the medical men was a huge mistake.

“I listened to everybody and felt like a rat on medication. I had no energy. My kids would come and see me and I didn’t want to get off the couch. I didn’t have the energy to practice or anything. I’d bloated to 260 pounds, and I didn’t feel like I was eating that much. I decided it was the medication and stopped taking it. In three months I lost 32 pounds and had more energy than I’ve had in my life.”

Daly said he should have gone his own way much sooner.

“That’s the one thing I regret because I feel I lost about a year or two of good play,” he said. “I could have come out of that slump a lot sooner.”

Daly said his upbringing fueled a lot of habits that took years to break.

“Where I was raised (Arkansas), you drank beer at 8 years old and fished and hunted,” he said. “That’s where I grew up. We were sort of free to do what we wanted. I didn’t know any better.”

Cup runneth over: A delegation from the Ryder Cup committee visited watery Loch Lomond to assess the course’s bid for the 2009 Ryder Cup. Loch Lomond is one of the prettiest places in the world, and the course is among the best. The only problem is it’s built in the wrong place.

The region is the wettest in the British Isles, with an average rainfall of about 97 inches a year.

The question they should have asked the people at Loch Lomond was: If the course can’t be ready in July, what chance does it have at the end of September? About as much chance as the soggy Solheim Cup.

What I meant was . . . : Colin Montgomerie had to do some heavy backtracking after comments before Loch Lomond that Scotland’s 2009 Ryder Cup bid should go to Turnberry. Montgomerie said he was surprised to read negative newspaper reports following his words.

“My wholehearted support for Scotland’s bid does not mean I don’t like Ireland, Wales, Sweden or whoever else. Some reports were shocking to say the least. Of course I support Scotland’s bid – how can I not?"

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