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Page last updated at 02:39 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 03:39 UK

Beaten Curtis seals Ryder place

Ben Curtis
Curtis was beaten at Oakland Hills but enjoyed a Ryder Cup bonus

Ben Curtis has landed a spot in the American Ryder Cup team by finishing joint runner-up to Padraig Harrington in the USPGA Championship.

The tournament at Oakland Hills was the last chance for the top eight ranked US golfers to win automatic qualification.

And Curtis moved up to seventh in the Cup reckoning as he joined Sergio Garcia on two shots behind Harrington.

"It is almost a victory in itself," said Curtis, after learning he will make his Ryder Cup debut in September.

Garcia looks like another who will make the showdown in Kentucky as he moved up to third in the European rankings, which have yet to be finalised.

Europe captain Nick Faldo will have some tough choices, with Ryder Cup veteran Colin Montgomerie among regulars who are outside the top-ranked players.

The 37th Ryder Cup takes place at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville from 19 to 21 September.

United States captain Paul Azinger will name his four wildcard selections on 2 September as his side seeks to win the trophy for the first time since 1999.

US Ryder Cup team - top eight automatic qualifiers
1 Phil Mickelson
2 Stewart Cink
3 Kenny Perry
4 Jim Furyk
5 Anthony Kim
6 Justin Leonard
7 Ben Curtis
8 Boo Weekley

Wildcard contenders:
9 Steve Stricker
10 Woody Austin
11 DJ Trahan
12 Hunter Mahan

"I love Ben Curtis a lot, and I love the fact he's made the team," said Azinger.

There was only one change in the American top eight following the USPGA Championship.

Curtis, winner of the 2003 Open at Sandwich, jumped from 20th to seventh, moving Steve Stricker out of the guaranteed places.

The eight players now on the team are: Stewart Cink, Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard, Boo Weekley and Curtis.

Among the players Azinger is likely to consider for the remaining places are Woody Austin, Rocco Mediate, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson and Steve Flesch.

see also
USPGA photos
11 Aug 08 |  Golf
European Ryder Cup rankings
04 Aug 08 |  Golf

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