European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam shot a splendid second round 64 to claim a share of second place at the European Players Championship in Gut Kaden ? one stroke behind Swede Robert Karlsson who leads on 14 under par.

The veteran Welshman, playing only with the aid of pain busting injections to his back, put his return to form down to adjustments to his troublesome putting stroke, adding that his playing partners Graeme McDowell and Nick Dougherty were shocked by his performance on the greens.

He said: ?They were struggling to read the greens and I was taking one quick look and whacking it and it was going in. All I’ve done is I’ve moved the ball back in my stance and kept my feet square to the target. For some reason it doesn’t look very pretty, doesn’t feel very pretty, but I’m striking them really well, and they’re going on line.?

Doubly welcome news for Woosnam, as he looks towards September?s clash at the K Club, has been the return to form of Britain?s Lee Westwood. Fresh from breaking the course record yesterday, a steady round of 68 has left him tied with Woosnam in second place.

Other Ryder Cup hopefuls sure to have impressed include Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia. Both continue to maintain strong challenges on 11 and nine under par respectively.

Woosnam, however, laughed off any suggestion that he?d be dealing a much coveted K Club wild card to himself, insisting: ?I?ve made my decision. Even if I happen to win the next three or four tournaments in a row, no, I will still just be the captain.?