Hoylake?s record (if a little rowdy) galleries were treated to a veritable feast of shot making. But for European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam the tournament won?t have made such pretty viewing.

Many of his key men struggled in a tournament dominated by US tour players, with only 5 Europeans claiming top 20 places. Of those expected to tee off in Ireland only the resplendent Sergio Garcia mounted any serious challenge in finishing 5th, with his usual putting problems costing him what should have been a runners up spot at worse.

David Howell, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Dougherty, Ian Poulter and Padraig Harrington all missed the cut, leaving the Swede Carl Pettersson as the only real positive for a European side now strangely out of sorts.

Woosnam will be hoping for a vast improvement form the rest of his team if their favourite status is not to prove misguided.

Having already stated that his wild card places will be drawn form the European tour, the Welshman?s definitely got some thinking to do.

US captain Tom Lehman, on the other hand, will have been buoyed by the form of many of his key men. Quite aside form the mercurial performance of Woods, the efforts of Chris DiMarco and Jim Furyk ? finishing second and third respectively ? will have proved welcome news.

In recent years, however, European teams have performed best as underdogs, so perhaps European fans shouldn?t get too disheartened about any post Open levelling of the odds.