Dyson well-placed in battle for Cup place

Simon Dyson's dream of playing in the Ryder Cup is still alive with only two days of the year-long marathon to go.

"If I play the best 36 holes of my life I'll play in the best tournament of my life," said the 32-year-old after a second-round 70 in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles kept him in joint seventh place.

However, it might not be enough even if he does go crazy and grab the victory he needs to have a chance of a debut at Celtic Manor in just over a month.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez will keep out Dyson if he finishes in the top nine on Sunday – and after a 68 he is also six-under at halfway, three behind joint-leaders David Lynn, Gary Boyd and Julien Guerrier.

That trio, Boyd and Guerrier both European Tour rookies, took over at the top from Richard Finch, but inevitably it is the battle for the two remaining guaranteed spots and three wild cards in Colin Montgomerie's team that is dominating the week. It is a battle being conducted on two fronts and with Montgomerie praising Padraig Harrington as he challenged Tiger Woods for the lead in America it seems almost certain now that the Irishman will be handed one of the captain's picks.

Paul Casey, who had a second successive 69 at the first of the FedEx Cup play-offs, and Luke Donald are favourites for the others and that would mean Edoardo Molinari and Justin Rose – 21st and 22nd in the world – being the unfortunate two to miss out.

Dyson, though, has thoughts now only on what he faces.

With big-hitting Alvaro Quiros, also on a win-or-bust mission, only just squeezing through the cut on one-under, the Yorkshire golfer looks like the only threat to Jimenez and Peter Hanson.

Swede Hanson won last week's Czech Open to move into eighth place on the points table and since he is also six-under at halfway – so are Molinari and his brother Francesco – it is shaping up to be to a straight battle between Dyson and Jimenez.

Dyson felt unlucky that a squall came while he was on the 320-yard 14th – "the easiest hole on the course became a tough one," he said – but he had earlier made putts of 40 and 20 feet to save par at the second and fourth.

"I struggled with distance with my irons," he added.

"But I missed only one fairway and it was my putting that held my score together for the first few holes

"I know what I've got to do and I'll just give it a go. If I'm three behind even with nine holes to go I still fancy my chances."