THERE'S a small part of me that's disappointed this week. I was at The Wynyard yesterday to show my face but that's the closest I will get to compete in the Seve Trophy this year.

Instead of going along to the course, where I do the majority of my practising, I am likely to be heading up to Glasgow this week to meet up with my coach, Ian Rae.

Nothing would have given me greater satisfaction than playing in front of a North-East crowd at Wynyard - a course I know as well as anyone - but it's not to be.

I'm not bitter about my non-selection through a wild card - in fact quite the opposite. Just to have been in contention for a place gives me great heart because it means I have done reasonably well in my first season back on the European Tour.

Personally, I feel Ashington's Kenneth Ferrie should have been the man playing for Great Britain & Ireland this week. But captain Colin Montgomerie refused to go back on his word.

Monty said all along that he was going to choose his wild card on the basis of the world rankings, hence the reason why Paul Casey will be the man taking on Continental Europe tomorrow.

That will please the organisers as well because Casey's a big hitter and is sure to pull in the crowds. He's a Ryder Cup hero who will attract golf enthusiasts keen to see how far he can drive.

WHAT I have to remember is that I had no intention of trying to make the Seve team when I set my targets out at the start of the season.

It's disappointing not to be playing, that's for sure. But I'm just looking forward to spending a this week away from competitive golf and reflecting on what I have already achieved.

Having earned my Tour card for next season a while back, I was able to switch my main target toward earning a place in the Volvo Masters, which brings the curtain down on the season.

Only the top 60 in the Order of Merit play in the competition and you're guaranteed £7,000 for finishing last. One big pay day to finish with would be the perfect ending to a good season.

That will be the fourth and final tournament I will play after this week.

I am also planning to play in the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, the Madrid Open and the Mallorca Classic. Then I can put my feet up.

WITH all the European Tour cameras in the region for the Seve Trophy I was asked to go along to the Historic Quay, in Hartlepool, on Monday for an interview.

I'm going to be on the European Tour Weekly programme on Sky Sports this week, reflecting on the season and what it means to the region to host such a competition as the Seve Trophy.

IN my eyes, and this is what I told the cameras too, there is only one winner at The Wynyard and that's going to be the Great Britain & Ireland team.

Even without the likes of Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald we have a team strong enough to beat Jose Maria Olazabal's side. No question.

I don't think it's fair that the players - with the exception of Darren whose wife is ill - can drop out of such an event. It just shows what they think of the tournament. When they set about planning for the year the Seve was obviously not one of their priorities. That's a shame for the North-East but I'm still convinced Monty will go 3-1 up in the series.

Published: ??/??/2005