CHORLEY'S Nick Dougherty remains in contention for a Ryder Cup place following his encouraging US Masters debut.

The Shaw Hill professional finished five-over-par at the Augusta National after closing the event with a final round 76 - his worst of the week.

And that keeps him on course for September's Ryder Cup, as he sits sixth in the European Ryder Cup table.

But the 25-year-old can reflect on a fine showing that saw him lead the Masters on the opening day - albeit for just half-an-hour - and briefly enter the top 10 on Saturday.

In that third round, Dougherty registered three early birdies to put himself in contention.

But, mirroring the entire British challenge in Georgia, his bid fell away, closing with two bogeys yesterday evening to finish outside the top 30.

However, Dougherty, cheered on all week by his family and friends from Shaw Hill Golf Club, reflected on a satisfying effort.

Dougherty said: "It's been a superb week. I've thoroughly enjoyed myself.

"I would like to have scored better over the weekend, but I'm delighted to play all four days and I think I've done myself proud. It's been memorable and I think I've taken a lot out of it."

European Ryder Cup tables after The Masters (capitals indicate players currently in qualifying positions): World List: 1 LEE WESTWOOD 168.14, 2 JUSTIN ROSE 141.38, 3 HENRIK STENSON 140.14, 4 PADRAIG HARRINGTON 121.14, 5 DANIEL CHOPRA 112.56, 6 Martin Kaymer 100.38, 7 Ian Poulter 94.72, 8 Luke Donald 94.67, 9 Miguel Angel Jimenez 83.86, 10 Graeme McDowell 82.40, 11 Robert Karlsson 81.35, 12 Nick Dougherty 78.71 European List: 1 Lee Westwood 1,499,314, 2 Justin Rose 1,239,605, 3 Henrik Stenson 1,163,564, 4 ROBERT KARLSSON 887,000, 5 GRAEME McDOWELL 871,172, 6 NICK DOUGHERTY 886,407, 7 MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ 805,818, 8 MARTIN KAYMER 791,174, 9 Soren Kjeldsen 750,918, 10 Padraig Harrington 745,334, 11 Steve Webster 738,660, 12 Soren Hansen 728,150