Posted August 22, 2012 on AP on Fox
Defending champion Thomas Bjorn goes into the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on Thursday with one eye on the Ryder Cup. Bjorn is one of the European Ryder Cup vice captains, and the Walker Championship ends the race for the 10 automatic spots on the team. Bjorn has been busy tracking the progress of the team, which will play next month against the United States at Medinah in Illinois. So far, Bjorn likes what he's seen, particularly the back-to-back success of winners Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. Jose Maria Olazabal will add two captain's picks for the Ryder Cup matches. ''It has been a couple of important weeks,'' Bjorn said. ''When they play the way they have done, it leaves a little bit less room for our guys. So Kiawah (McIllroy's wins) was very important, and Sergio's win last week was also very important. ''It just gives a boost to the whole European team. Five weeks away is the perfect timing for all of them to be right on top of their game.'' McIlroy not only won his second Major championship but stormed past Tiger Woods and Luke Donald to take back the top ranking by winning the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, S.C. Garcia ended a four-year PGA Tour winless drought last Monday in capturing the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina. Bjorn will be joined as vice captain by former British Open winner Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Ireland's Paul McGinley. All three served in the same capacity in 2010 under Colin Montgomerie. Olazabal will choose his fourth vice captain later this week and make his two wild-card picks on Monday. One of those could be big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, who is ranked 12th and two places outside of automatic qualifying for the Ryder Cup side. However, the 29-year old Colsaerts could guarantee his place on the team by finishing first or second at Gleneagles. If successful, Colsaerts will be the only rookie among the 10 automatic qualifiers. ''I think the best way to go about it, is to be very humble,'' Colsaerts said. ''Ollie (Olazabal) has been around so many of them that he's got all the scenarios covered regardless of what I do, what some of the other guys do. I still have a way to get myself in, but I'd like to think that I'm a pretty good position to get a pick.''

Bjorn set to defend Gleneagles title

Defending champion Thomas Bjorn goes into the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles starting on Thursday with one eye on an even bigger prize. Named as one of the European Ryder Cup vice captains, Bjorn has been busy tracking the progress of the team to play at Medinah next month. And so far he has liked what he has seen, particularly the back-to-back success in the past two...

Bourdy leads at European Masters

Gregory Bourdy of France shot an 8-under 63 to lead by two strokes after the rain-swept European Masters first round on Thursday. Bourdy, who earned the last of his three European Tour wins in 2009, had eight birdies in the thin Alpine air of the Crans-sur-Sierre club. Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden and Oliver Fisher of England shot 65s late in the afternoon to trail by two strokes...

GF,MGSPINTL *2080 AP-GLF--Johnnie Walker Scores,0179

Johnnie Walker Scores Leading scores Thursday in the Johnnie Walker Championship, played at the par-72, 7,266-yard PGA Centenary Course: First Round Brett Rumford, Australia 32-36-67 Knut Borsheim, Norway 34-33-67 Thorbjorn Olesen, Denmark 34-34-68 Paul Lawrie, Scotland 35-33-68 Mark Foster, England 34-34-68 Francesco Molinari, Italy 34-34-68 Maarten Lafeber, Netherlands 34...
Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.