Bernd Wiesberger and Victor Perez will tee it up in this week’s Cazoo Classic at London Golf Club, both harbouring hopes of staking a late claim to secure a place on Pádraig Harrington’s European Ryder Cup team.
Both players are well and truly in the mix as the race for qualification concludes at the end of next month’s BMW PGA Championship, before Team Europe journeys to Whistling Straits in Wisconsin two weeks later in an attempt to retain the famous trophy they lifted in Paris three years ago.
Austrian Wiesberger currently lies in seventh position on the European Points List, helped by an eighth European Tour victory earlier this year at Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA, while Frenchman Perez sits just outside the cut-off mark on the World Points List behind Irishman Shane Lowry.
Wiesberger has enjoyed a three-week break since making the cut at The Open and returns to Kent feeling fresh and ready for the challenge. Perez, meanwhile, played last week’s WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis and is now targeting a return to the kind of form which earned him a fourth place finish in March’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Andy Sullivan is a man who has already experienced the Ryder Cup, having played in 2016, and the Englishman’s most recent European Tour win came almost exactly a year ago on home soil, so he will be hoping to feed off the memories of his 2020 English Championship triumph this week.
Bernd Wiesberger: “I have not played a massive amount of golf in my time off to be honest, that’s why I’m feeling nice and fresh and enjoy hitting a few balls. I played 18 holes today for the second time since Sunday at The Open.
“So they were short golfing days for me back at home, but I’ve been up to all sorts of things, tried three weeks off tournament golf, but it’s time to switch on again and get a few good weeks going this week at London Golf Club.
“I’m not the youngest anymore so I need to conserve my energy and I feel good. I had a lovely time yesterday with Titleist up at the new facility at Woburn and got everything nicely dialled in and played 18 practice holes because it’s my first time at London Golf Club.
“The course looks like, I feel like it’s really a golf course that suits my game and that’s always good, to come to a place that does that. I feel fresh, eager to get going again and I’m looking forward to the week.
“Well there’s really only one target for me over the next four events I’m playing, four of the next five. After that fourth week there is a big cut-off so that’s the big target and just try and enjoy these four weeks and free up for them, give everything in those events and try get the best outcome possible. We’ll see if we reach that goal.”
Victor Perez: “Obviously I didn’t have the best of weeks last week, I felt like some parts of the game worked for me and some parts of the games were poor and it’s just a case of putting it all together. There were some good stretches which has been the case for a long time in the last five or six months where it’s been good for a little bit, bad for little bit and not consistent enough.
“So it’s just a matter of putting it all together. The course looks great and I’m excited for the week. It’s part of the game where you look and think a 67 should be a 72 and it works both ways so you just have to be grateful for the times it works and be patient for the times when it doesn’t work.
“Sometimes you shoot 71 and you feel like you’re so close to a 68 and getting the rounds going and equally sometimes you shoot 67 and you get away withy a lot, so it’s a matter of perspective really.
“It’s a big puzzle and it’s just a matter of figuring it out, the right balance oif it all. Sometimes it works and you don’t know why and you keep risding that wave. Then something gets a little off and it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together where you’re comfortable enough to just play. It’s always so easy when it works and equally it can be very difficult.
“It can happen so quickly, you get off to a great week. You get a win and then all of a sudden you’re straight back into the conversation so with the double points and the way it’s turning out to be, it’s going to come all the way down to the final week at Wentworth – being a Rolex Series event with double points. I think at the end of the day it’s just all about playing well, giving yourself chances and hitting good shots.”
Andy Sullivan: “I feel like the game is good, I’ve been playing nicely without doing anything special, just not being getting up and down around the greens enough in honesty.
“I’ve been going along nicely, not getting up and down and you come back a couple of shots or a shot and it just completely zaps all momentum in the round so I’ve been doing a bit of work the last couple of weeks on that, trying to get that tighter, but the game feels in good shape.
“I’m loving the greens this week, the greens are really quick which is a lot more down my alley so without having too much form coming in here I’m actually feeling quite confident my game.
“We’re all out here to be competitive, aren’t we, and when you’re not it is frustrating and there’s no hiding that. I’m not going to stand here and say I’m really happy I finished 50th the last two weeks because I’m not. I’m fuming with it, it’s not nice, so in all honesty finishing 50th the last two weeks is massively frustrating and I want to be at the top end of the leaderboard. It’s not nice going into Sunday’s and not really got much to play for so try and rectify that this week and make sure the short game is tight.”
Press Release by the European Communication Team