Paul Broadhurst has given it his best shot to be selected for the Ryder Cup team. But even an ageless forty-something Atherstone United fan with his positive outlook on life has resigned himself to failure before the announcement of captain Ian Woosnam's European team in ten days' time.

Only two events remain before Woosnam names his 12 players to face America following the BMW International Open in Munich on Sunday week. Broadhurst knows that he is hampered by not taking part in one of them, the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, which starts today at Firestone in Akron, Ohio.

But, far from making excuses about the exclusivity of the modern-day tour which so often limits the field to only the rich and famous, Broadhurst says: "I've only got myself to blame.

"Two weeks ago, I was in the world top 50 and would have got an automatic invite but I've had two successive missed cuts at the KLM Open and again last week at the USPGA and that didn't exactly do me any favours.

"I knew at the start of the year that one of the keys to making the team was playing in the four majors and the two WGC events where the big money is and, although I played fairly well at the Open, I'll have played in just three out of the six and that's not enough.

"I reckon it's left me needing at least a top-three finish at the BMW International in Germany next week, maybe even better than that, depending on how some people got on this week, so you've got to say now I'm a pretty long shot.

"But, then again, I was a long shot when I made the team in 1991. It was only thanks to finishing runner-up to Mark McNulty in the final counting event at the German Open."

The chances of Broadhurst being one of the two automatic picks allowed to Woosnam are about as remote as lightning striking twice for the man standing 11th in the rankings. Darren Clarke will, rightly, be one of them.

Broadhurst said: "I think I blew it there when I played with Woosie at the KLM Open in Holland. It was the worst I've played all year, I badly missed the cut and he didn't know where to look or what to say afterwards.

"We've not spoken since and when you bear in mind that I missed the cut the only other time I've played with him this summer, at the Italian Open, I think I've missed my big chance. Even if he was in two minds, I think just taking a look at my game would have made it up for him."

If Broadhurst does miss out, it will be a big disappointment but, given the state his game was in following his career-threatening wrist injury six years ago, he is to be congratulated for having got this close.

While Broadhurst misses the trip to Ohio, Worcestershire's John Bickerton, 13th on the list and still just about in Ryder Cup contention if he can land a big pay cheque this week, is enjoying his second tournament Stateside in successive weeks.

The Worcestershire man adapted well last week in Illinois in the first round of the USPGA at Medinah, looking a good bet to make the following day's cut at level par with one hole to play. But a dropped shot at the last was the prelude to a poor second round, after which he headed home along with Broadhurst.

While Broadhurst can only stand and wait for next week, at least Bickerton has the chance to do something about it this week with a prize pot in excess of one million first-place points to be won. Also encouragingly, next week's event at Nord-Eichenried, on the outskirts of Munich, is almost on the doorstep now that he has a base in Bavaria.