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Pair in Ryder race

Graeme McDowell and Paul Lawrie have the three remaining months of the Ryder Cup race to make sure that what happened on Sunday is not something they live to regret.

McDowell is still without a win since December 2010 after losing to Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts in the final of the Volvo World Match Play in Spain and that came after Lawrie had been knocked out by Colsaerts despite winning the first four holes of their semi-final.

All three are now in qualifying positions for Europe's team - Lawrie is fourth, McDowell eighth and Colsaerts in the 10th and last spot - but it could have been so different.

"I'm disappointed obviously," said 2010 cup hero McDowell, who got back on level terms three times only to fall behind again. "But I'm taking nothing away from Nicolas, he played fantastic golf. He's got a great wind game (there were gusts of over 30mph) and he's a fantastic talent - I got beat by the better man."

Colsaerts is the longest hitter in European golf at the moment, taking over from Spain's Alvaro Quiros with an average of 316 yards.

That is also a yard longer than Masters champion Bubba Watson, who heads the PGA Tour statistics, and it is 34 yards longer than McDowell, who ranks 155th in Europe.

"He really killed me off the tee box and flighted his irons fantastic," the Northern Irishman added after his last-green defeat.

"I would have preferred to get beat with birdies as opposed to pars, but that's just the way the course was set up this week. But he had to deal with the same elements I did and that's life."

Lawrie looked furious with himself for not making the most of a start which put on course for a final which, if he had won, would have lifted him to second in the cup race. For a man who has not played in the match since 1999 - the year he won The Open - it is understandably a big deal.

It means so much to the 43-year-old, who was playing his 500th European Tour event, that he has not enetered next month's US Open because he does not think it will aid his cup bid.

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