Ryder Cup far from Hoey’s thoughts

MICHAEL Hoey may currently be top of the European Ryder Cup points list but the 32-year-old isn’t getting carried away by dreams of lining out against the Americans next September.
“I’m not thinking about it at all,” said Hoey who fired a closing round 66 on Sunday to grab a share of 20th place at the Castello Masters won by Sergio Garcia.
“If you check back you’ll find lots of players who led early but didn’t feature in the shake-up for the team.
“If I continue to play well towards the end of the year I could possibly stay up there for a while but I know how quickly things can change in golf.”
The Alfred Dunhill Links champion flew into Belfast yesterday to shake hands on a new sponsorship deal with The Blackcube Asset Management Group.
The UK based operation, with offices in Belfast and London specializes in private equity, real estate and credit investment strategies, as well as financial advisory services such as mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and private placements.
It’s a measure of his new-found standing in the game that Hoey now finds himself in demand with the media and potential sponsors.
“It’s a tough financial climate and it’s great to think that a company like Blackcube is willing to support me and Paul [Cutler],” added Michael.
“From a personal point of view obviously the win in Scotland has changed things for me. There’s more chance of sponsors being interested because I’ll be playing in these bigger events with some of the star names.”
He’s not going to say it himself, but Michael could well become a ‘star’ in his own right if he continues to play such assured golf. A slight injury forced him to take two weeks off after his win at the Dunhill Links but he eased back into competitive action at the Castello Masters last week with little or no fuss.
“It was pretty good and I really could have gone low in that last round on Sunday,” he added.

“I finished five under but it could have been seven or eight. It was a tricky course and I was pleased to come back and score well.

“At the moment that’s the difference. I’m always learning about my swing but my short game, my chipping and putting, is helping me to shoot those low scores.”
The next event on the horizon for Michael is the WGC-HSBC event in Shanghai from November 3-6. It will be his first appearance in a WGC event and with seven million dollars in prize money on offer, a good result could open even more doors.
Currently ranked 98th in the world he has all but guaranteed himself a place in next year’s Open Championship but if he was to push his way into the top 50, he’d be eligible for all the majors and all the WGC events.
His trip to Shanghai will be followed by visits to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and finally Dubai for the Dubai World Championship.

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