Saturday, 14 August 2004
The Ryder Cup race is set to hot up over the final round of the 86th US PGA Championship with England’s Brian Davis among the leading challengers hoping to force their way onto the European Team after a three under par 69 at Whistling Straits moved him into contention.

Davis currently lies just outside the automatic qualifiers for the European Ryder Cup Team for The 35th Ryder Cup Matches at Oakland Hills, Bloomfield Township, Michigan from September 16-19, occupying 14th place in the combined World and European Ryder Cup Points Lists.

But three impressive rounds at Whistling Straits have taken him to six under par and firmly in the mix as the Ryder Cup race enters the home straight with just two events after this week’s US PGA Championship to count.

With Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, one place ahead of Davis in the Ryder Cup Points List, and Swede Joakim Haeggman, who holds the last automatic qualifying place, both missing the cut, Davis has the chance to steal a march on his rivals with a good final round.

Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden, knocked out of the qualifying places only recently after spending so much of the qualifying period among the top ten places, will also be looking for a good final round after a two under par 70 took him to four under par 212.

Ireland’s Paul McGinley and Frenchman Jean-Francois Remesy, two other players involved in the sprint for the line in the Ryder Cup race are a further shot back on three under par.

Davis, Jacobson, McGinley and Remesy have Haeggman, David Howell and Ian Poulter in their sights and the English pair, lying at two under par and one under respectively, will be aiming to keep the chasing pack at bay going into the last two events with a solid final day performance.

England’s Luke Donald, also very much in the Ryder Cup chase following his victory in the Scandinavian Masters by Carlsberg, is another Ryder Cup hopeful with everything to play for over the final round.

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