Golf

Italian Open gains in importance

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VIRIGINIA WATER, England (AP)

The Italian Open has received a boost with its selection as the final qualifying event for Europeans to make the Ryder Cup team.

The Italian Open ends next year on Aug. 31.

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Qualifying for the European team began three weeks ago at the Wales Open. The top five players based on money from European Tour events and the top four players in world ranking points qualify. Paul McGinley will have three captain's picks.

The Ryder Cup is next Sept. 26-28 in Scotland.

After Sunday's announcement, the Italian Open is likely to get a stronger field than usual if top players are still trying to earn a spot on the team. It will be held next year the same week as the Deutsche Bank Championship on the PGA Tour.

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