Reuters - Wed, 28 Jul 15:00:00 2010
Briton Justin Rose could find himself part of a Ryder Cup wildcard lottery - a fate the former European number one is naturally keen to avoid.
Twice 2010 US PGA Tour winner Rose, 30 on Friday, is struggling to make Colin Montgomerie's team for Celtic Manor, lying seventh on the world points list, three adrift of qualifying. He is nowhere on the European points list.
Rose could have a better chance than anyone of being handed one of the three wild-cards by Europe's captain Montgomerie next month because of his US Tour performances this year.
But on the eve of the Irish Open, which starts on Thursday, Rose said just because he had beaten Americans on their own turf does not make him a shoo-in for a pick by Montgomerie.
"There are six or seven guys who are very, very realistic possibilities for wildcards at the moment," he said at the Killarney hosting club. "That means there are going to be some very disappointed guys this year.
"Guys who consider themselves to be Ryder Cup players may not play."
Rose earned three points out of four for Europe's losing side at Valhalla, Kentucky, in 2008, further enhancing his chances of a wildcard.
He can avoid the lottery if he comes up with the right results over the next four weeks, including a last chance for a 2010 Major title at the US PGA Championship.
His final throw of the Ryder Cup dice could come at the end of August when Europe's team is decided at the Gleneagles Johnnie Walker Championship.
Rose, the 2007 European money-list winner, is determined not to need the nod from Montgomerie.
"I have a great opportunity to qualify by right," he said. "If all the realistic wildcard options play well in the next few weeks, it will make Monty's task easier.
"I had a fantastic time on a losing team at Valhalla, so to have an opportunity to win would be incredible."
Three times Major champion Padraig Harrington, who has said he would be "devastated" if he did not make the team, and Britain's world number nine Paul Casey, are two more high profile players outside the Ryder Cup fold at the moment.
One of the best Ryder Cup performers, Spaniard Sergio Garcia, is also struggling to make the team, as is last year's World Matchplay champion Ross Fisher of Britain.
Among the others who could be in the wildcard shake-up are Italy's Edoardo Molinari and Swedes Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson.
Darren Clarke's chances of making the Ryder Cup team instead of assisting Montgomerie got a lift on Wednesday after the Briton was handed an invitation to play in the US PGA Championship.
Clarke lies 21st on Europe's Cup table but good results in this week's Irish Open and the final Major of the year could yet force Montgomerie to appoint a new vice-captain.