Ryder hopeful Morrison: No cricket regrets

Reuters - Sat, 22 May 13:33:00 2010

Although James Morrison played in England's youth cricket teams with Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan, he has no regrets about giving up cricket as a teenager for golf.

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"I haven't played cricket since I left school at 18," the 25-year-old Briton told Reuters after missing the halfway cut on nine-over-par 151 in the PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"I thought I'd be better at golf than cricket and I get more enjoyment out of golf. What's more enjoyable, standing in a field for four days or playing golf?

"I've got zero regrets. I'm going to pick up my new BMW in 10 minutes. If I was still playing cricket I'd probably be going round in a Vauxhall Corsa," added Morrison.

Morrison said he had not seen his former youth team-mates, who all went on to senior careers in English cricket, for years. "It wasn't as if we were friends. We just happened to play cricket together."

This is the young Englishman's first full year on the European Tour and he has been touted as a candidate for the Ryder Cup team in October after climbing to number 18 in the money list with earnings of 404,000 euros (351,000).

Morrison has already had four top-10 finishes this season and achieved a breakthrough victory at the Madeira Islands Open last month.

However, the former Surrey U17 opening batsman and spin bowler said it was premature to talk about the Ryder Cup.

"I've made a great start to the season and, yeah, I do believe I'm good enough but it's far too early," said Morrison.

"At the same time that (media speculation) is part of dealing with success, it's a learning curve for me talking about those sorts of things and I feel I've dealt with it pretty well."

Morrison played alongside captain Colin Montgomerie in the opening two rounds of the tour's flagship event at Wentworth but said he blocked all Ryder Cup thoughts from his mind.

"Playing with Colin here I had no thoughts about trying to impress," he said. "I was just trying to play golf and whether I played well or bad I wasn't thinking about the Ryder Cup at all.

"A top position in the order of merit, that's my real goal. It's not about playing golf now, it's about (still) playing golf in 10 years.

"Every year I have to make an improvement. My stats are improving every week so if that happens the results will take care of themselves."

Asked if he ever missed playing cricket, Morrison replied: "Definitely not - I couldn't think of anything worse. I don't even really watch it any more."


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