With Paul Lawrie and Sergio Garcia leading on either side of the Atlantic, Europe’s Ryder Cup players have a great chance to make it three triumphant weeks in a row today and lay down a marker with just a month to go before The Ryder Cup begins.
After wins by Rory McIlroy in the US PGA Championship and Garcia in the Wyndham Championship in the US over the last two weeks, Lawrie leads the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, the final qualifying event for The European Ryder Cup Team, by a stroke with 18 holes to play while, in New York, Garcia leads The Barclays, the first of the FedEx Cup play-offs featuring 23 of the top 25 players in the world, by two with a round to play.
And with Lee Westwood also in the mix at Bethpage Black and Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald both climbing 30 places on the Barclays leaderboard yesterday, things are looking good from a European perspective as Medinah edges ever closer.
"It wasn't long ago that the American team were playing better, no question, but the European boys have kicked on a bit," said Lawrie, who lies at 12 under par at Gleneagles, with France's Romain Wattel 11 under and then fellow Scot Stephen Gallacher two further back.
The relief of returning to Europe's side 13 years after his debut has been clear to see in Lawrie's play this week.
"It's been a lot easier for me," the 43-year-old from Aberdeen added. "It would be huge to have two wins in a Ryder Cup year. I'd go in full of confidence and hopefully win some points.
"I'm not someone who gets stressed out an awful lot. There's no-one more calm than me, but I was desperate to get in and you can get back to working on what you should be working on - winning tournaments."
But for all the positives, Olazábal puts the form of his players into perspective. “It's nice to see that,” he said. “But I always said that what I want, truly, and really, is to have them really playing very well, the 28th, 29th and the 30th of September; that's what counts.”
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