The Ryder Cup dreams of Nicolas Colsaerts and Rafa Cabrera-Bello hang in the balance with just one round remaining in the qualification race.
Only Colsaerts can force his way among the ten automatic qualifiers, but needs a top two finish to do so, and will have to shoot the round of his life to make up the six strokes he trails leader Paul Lawrie.
Cabrera-Bello, who shot 60 in the final round to win his maiden title in Austria three years ago, is five off the pace but cannot force his way into the ten qualifiers and would need a wild card from José María Olazábal regardless of his performance over the final 18 holes.
“I have no idea what I need to do tomorrow my strategy is to shoot the best round of my career, plain and simple,” said Colsaerts after his round of 71 left him on six under par.
“We are just going to take on pins and try to can everything. We are going to have no choice. But then, I still showed passion, I still showed that I play with my guts, and you know, I'm just fighting like a dog.”
After Padraig Harrington slipped up during yesterday’s second round of The Barclays in the FedEx Cup play-offs in America, Colsaerts possibly edged a little closer to the second wild card should he fall short of the top two he needs, presuming widely tipped Ian Poulter is handed the other pick by Olazábal on Monday.
When asked if he felt he had done enough to earn a pick should he come up short, the Belgian replied: “Who am I to say so. I think I'm just going to answer the same since I've been in this position. I think I've made a lot to show that I was keen to be part of the team and that I could bring something. But then it's down to just one person to decide.”
Cabrera-Bello is also hanging in there with aspirations of impressing Olazábal with a blistering final day. The Spaniard’s hopes of qualifying for the team by right ended when Peter Hanson pulled out of the event at the start of the week, reducing the number of World Ranking Points available and putting automatic qualification tantalisingly out of reach even with a win. But he is undoubtedly one of the players Olazábal is keeping a very close eye on.
“Regardless of what happens tomorrow I think I have played well this year, given myself chances and I am sure he (Olazábal) is aware of that,” said Cabrera-Bello. “But I know I need to play very well tomorrow to try and impress him a little bit more.
“All I can do is try and go very low tomorrow and hope for the best. I always think anything within five shots is doable as you can shoot a low score and five shots can go in no time. More than that is starts to turn into a miracle.
“I have tried my best, played well and the putts just didn’t drop today. Try to play tomorrow with the same attitude and if it is not winning then go as low as possible.”