Love hopes he and partner Lawrie can make it into Ryder Cup teams

Paul Lawrie could clinch a Ryder Cup return this week – and American captain Davis Love would like to see him do it.

Lawrie is third on the European table and poised to win his second cap 13 years after his first. Only Christy O’Connor Jnr has gone longer between appearances – 1975 and then 1989.

“It would be great – great for the game and great for the Ryder Cup,” said Love yesterday before playing the first two rounds with the 43-year-old Scot at Lytham.

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“We’ve gotten to be friends and have been paired together quite a bit over the years. He’s one of the guys on their team I’m pulling for.

“I’ve been watching Paul play well the last couple of years. We’re paired here and hopefully both of us can keep the momentum going.”

Love has still not given up the hope of playing, although he is currently 44th in the American standings.

When Lawrie won the Open at Carnoustie in 1999 – ranked 159th in the world at the time – the big controversy of the week was the ferocity of the rough and Love, who came joint seventh, was quoted as saying that the event “got the champion it deserved”.

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The comment was brought up again in the media when they were grouped together in the 2004 Open and Lawrie remembers Love approaching him.

“He came to me and said ‘I just need you to know I never said it. I wouldn’t say that about a fellow PGA professional’.

“I said ‘no problem’. It’s never been a problem.”

While Lawrie chases a return, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts knows he is one big week away from putting himself in line for a Ryder Cup debut – so he is playing it safe at the Open this year.

Last July at Sandwich the 29-year-old decided that the best way to avoid expected traffic jams was to hire a scooter, but he crashed and had to pull out with an elbow injury.

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“No scooters, no bicycle – nothing like that this time,” Colsaerts said. “I’ll either be getting a courtesy car each day or I’ll walk it – the house we’re renting is close enough to do that.”

No Belgian has represented Europe in the Ryder Cup, but Florence Descamps has played in the Solheim Cup.