Andy Sullivan aiming to get back into Europe’s Ryder Cup thoughts

Andy Sullivan reflects on an encouraging start to Oman and discusses his hopes of representing Europe again in the Ryder Cup

Andy Sullivan is hoping to make a late challenge for a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup side after an encouraging start to the year on the European Tour.

Sullivan registered three wins in 2015 on his way to qualifying for Darren Clarke’s side at Hazeltine two years ago, but has since dropped outside of the world’s top 100 after only registering two wins from his 25 starts last season.

The Englishman’s results have improved in recent starts with back-to-back top-20s on the European Tour and an opening-round 67 at the NBO Oman Open, with Sullivan looking to build on that form in his pursuit to feature in Thomas Bjorn’s plans at Le Golf National.

“I think once you’ve played one Ryder Cup, you just don’t want to miss another,” Sullivan told Sky Sports. “It’s so special. My first one was in America and obviously we did get humped, but the whole experience is just so awesome.

“One of my goals is to try and force my way in to that team. I know it’s going to be difficult and I’ve left myself a lot to do, but that’s definitely where I want to be again.”

Playing alongside Alexander Levy and Shubhankar Sharma in Oman, Sullivan birdied five of the final eight holes of his opening round to get within two strokes of the early lead.

“I feel like that since the start of this year, the game has started to come back,” Sullivan added. “I worked really hard over the seven weeks I had off after the DP World (Tour Championship).

“It’s nice to be back at the right end of the leaderboard and to show [good] signs so early on in the season.”

“I felt like I got to the Ryder Cup pretty early and achieved everything in really quick time, and then you just really realise how hard you have to work to maintain these things.

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“I’d be guilty of not quite performing how I’d wanted to, but since the DP World I’ve put the hard work in and it’s nice to see it coming back to where it was so early.”

Watch the NBO Oman Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage continues on Friday from 6.30am.