NEWPORT, Wales -- Paul McGinley did his
Ryder Cup chances no harm at all when he took a share of the
Wales Open lead Friday.
McGinley's first round 5-under-par 67 left him tied atop of the first-round leaderboard after play Thursday had
been almost completely wiped out by heavy rain at the Celtic
The Irishman is currently in 10th in the European Ryder
Cup standings, which is the last of the automatic places.
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open Champion who earned 3½ points on his Ryder Cup debut at Brookline, is tied
at the top with McGinley and fellow Scot Gary Orr.
While Orr is harboring no hopes of making his Ryder Cup
debut, Lawrie, currently 25th in the standings is making a late bid
for his second go-round in the Ryder Cup.
Another Scot, Andrew Oldcorn, still is in contention for his
Ryder Cup debut. The current European PGA champion is 15th in
the standings, but could elbow his way into the top 10 with a victory
in Wales. He shot a first-round 69 to be only two shots off the
Wales' Phillip Price, ninth in the Ryder Cup standings,
shot a 70 to keep his Belfry debut hopes alive.
Englishman Ian Poulter, 12th in the standings, continues his bid
to make Sam Torrance's team with a late charge. Poulter, who tied for second last week in the Scandinavian Masters, shot 71.
Welsh veteran Ian Woosnam dropped four strokes in four holes
coming to the turn to slip to a 73 and needs a big effort now to
improve from 16th in the Ryder Cup standings.
Scotland's Andrew Coltart, 13th in the Cup table, is
suffering from influenza, which was reflected in his 76.