Ryder Cup’s shadow looms over World Match Play



CASARES, Spain (AP) — With the Ryder Cup a little more than four months away, Europe’s top players couldn’t pick a better tournament to impress team captain Jose Maria Olazabal than this week’s World Match Play Championship in southern Spain.

The world’s top three — Europeans Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood — have all chosen to skip the event but No. 9 Martin Kaymer, 2010 Ryder Cup star Graeme McDowell and defending champion Ian Poulter are among the big names present.

Poulter says, “I love the cut and thrust of match play and find it a refreshing change from the usual stroke-play format we play week in, week out. With the fact it’s Ryder Cup year, I think it will be even more exciting.”

Brandt Snedeker is the only American in the 24-man field.