Lanky Swede Robert Karlsson will stride into the Ryder Cup feeling even taller than the Six Feet Five at which he stands, after claiming his first victory for two years at the Mercedes-Benz Championship. It's the perfect preparation going into the match, he will have wanted to be performing well and he did just that. He had the scare of looking over his shoulder down the stretch at a charging Italian, Francesco Molinari. The swede had been some six shots ahead at one point, but when he bogeyed the par three 16th, Molinari had just had his fourth straight birdie to get within two. Karlsson stayed steady however and ground out two pars to finish, while Molinari could get no closer to him on his closing holes either, and big Robert won by two. It's a pity for the Italian that he left it so late, two early bogeys had let Karlsson open up a lead that proved too much for him, but a good second will do his ranking and his confidence the world of good.
Another encouraging performance for Nick Faldo was that of Ryder Cup Veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, who will be the oldest competitor at Valhalla. He hit a 66 today without dropping a shot, three birdies coming on both the front and back nines. Coupled with a fine 68 yesterday it was good enough to raise the cigar chomping Spaniard into a tie for third place. It'll be great to see Miguel strutting about with his potbellied waddle next week - he'd been looking to rediscover the form he'd shown in the early part of the season and it appears that he has, timing it well.
Soren Hansen too got back into the act today and had a 69 to set himself up for the Ryder match off the back of an eighth place finish. Three of the boys in the top ten then and Graeme McDowell in 16th as well. They all seem to be in decent nick.
Jean Francois Lucquin could not keep up his recent run of good play, finally falling to a 79, which dropped him from second at the start of the days proceedings into a tie for 16th on only 2 under. Disappointing for him having played so well this week, but it will be another boost to his confidence that he continued to compete after his unexpected win in Switzerland last week.
Darren Clarke recovered from his sluggish start to the week to get to 25th with consecutive 69's. He'll unfortunately either be watching or trying to avoid the tv coverage next week but he'll be back.
Finally, Mr Langer finished off well off the back of yesterdays poor showing, recording a 73. The oposition was a bit too stiff for Langer to compete, maybe next year he could invite a weaker field and he'll get that oldest winner record.