Hanson victory heaps pressure on captain Montgomerie

By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie faces the prospect of a few sleepless nights before deciding his 12-man team on Sunday after Peter Hanson's Czech Open win put him eighth in the table with one event to go.

The final points counting event is this week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in Scotland and with the top nine in the Ryder Cup standings gaining automatic qualification, Montgomerie will need to think long and hard over his three remaining wildcard selections.

Triple major champion Padraig Harrington, world number nine Paul Casey, 10th-ranked Luke Donald and number 22 Justin Rose are outside the top nine in the Ryder Cup table and must rely on a wildcard as all four are due to play in the opening event of the U.S. FedExCup series this week.

Among the others dreaming of a wildcard are Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiros of Spain, Swedes Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson, Briton Darren Clarke and Italian Edoardo Molinari who is hoping to join his brother Francesco in the team.

Francesco occupies seventh place on the points table and he and his brother, who won the World Cup for their country last year, would represent an ideal foursomes or fourballs pairing for Montgomerie against the U.S. at Celtic Manor in Wales from October 1-3.

All that, though, was of little interest to Hanson who re-arranged his schedule to play at the Czech Open and his late decision paid off handsomely with a playoff win over Briton Gary Boyd and Ireland's Peter Lawrie.

"It means so much to get in the top nine," said the Swede. "Coming here on a late invitation (from the sponsors), I knew if I was going to have any chance I needed to win.

"It is so hard knowing that you have to win. I'm feeling absolutely great that I managed to do it."

Top nine in European Ryder Cup points table: Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

(Editing by Alison Wildey)