The Ryder Cup race, which began 44 tournaments and more than 11 months ago, reaches its climax at the BMW International Open at GolfClub München Nord-Eichenried, Munich, this week.
There is still everything to play for as the race for points reaches its conclusion and, with 300,000 Ryder Cup points available to the winner, anyone within the top 23 in the Ryder Cup points list is theoretically still in with a chance of forcing their way into the top ten to secure a berth at The De Vere Belfry next month.
European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance will also announce his two "wild card" selections to complete the European Team who will face the United States and attempt to regain the trophy on September 28-30.
Phillip Price currently occupies the tenth and final place to qualify for the team automatically with 858,944 points but Ian Poulter has closed the gap to just 28,926 points after moving up to 11th following the World Golf Championships - NEC Invitational.
Miguel Angel Jiménez currently lies in 12th place ahead of Andrew Oldcorn and Andrew Coltart respectively and they, along with all the Ryder Cup hopefuls, will be making a dash for the line in the final qualifying event for the 2001 Ryder Cup.
Two years ago Padraig Harrington, having just finished second the previous week, was lying in 13th place in the Ryder Cup points list when he arrived in Munich and knew he needed to finish no worse than joint second to make the team. In the end the Dubliner leapt in to the side with rounds of 66-67-66-72 to finish alone in second place behind Colin Montgomerie. He was to play a huge role in his Ryder Cup debut, securing 1½ points from his three matches.
Last year Thomas Björn delivered the victory his superb season fully deserved when he won the BMW International Open title by three strokes from Bernhard Langer.
A field of the highest quality has once again gathered in Munich with no fewer than eight of the current top ten in the Ryder Cup standings in the starting line-up. Sergio Garcia is also back in Europe in his bid to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team.
US Open and Scottish Open champion Retief Goosen, the current leader of the Volvo Order of Merit, is the latest of eight Major Championship winners in Germany, joining Seve Ballesteros, John Daly, Langer, Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle, José Maria Olazábal, and Ian Woosnam.