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Statement from Bernhard Langer regarding The 35th Ryder Cup Matches following The 133rd Open Golf Championship

August 19, 2004

The Open Championship confirmed what I have been believing for some months, which is that The European Team for The 35th Ryder Cup Matches will be a very strong blend of experienced golfers and young guns.

We saw that at the Open Championship.? I followed the progress of all the European players on television for several hours each day, all four days, and I was thrilled with what I saw.

Thomas Levet followed on from his Loch Lomond win by leading the way with Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Gary Evans, Joakim Haeggman, Barry Lane, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter all playing brilliantly and I thought Lee Westwood emphasised, with his best of the weekend 68-67 finish, that he will win a Major Championship.

We are always the underdogs for The Ryder Cup - on paper! - but with nine Europeans in the top 25, and six of those currently in Qualifying positions, this was a very positive result.?

I was not at Royal Troon.? I wanted to be there as a player, but I didn't qualify.? I thought about going, but I felt the last thing the guys needed was for me to be distracting them when their own focus was on winning the Open.? You don't go to the Open to bond for The Ryder Cup or chit-chat over Dinner - and there will be plenty of time to bond ahead of playing the Americans.? We'll be ready - and we will be a Team.

I still learned a lot watching the players on television at the Open and I was able to receive more treatment on the wrist I injured earlier this year.

I'm playing three in a row in August - The International, US PGA Championship and the WGC - NEC Invitational - and I need to be fully fit which I feel I am now.

I've been in touch with the players on a regular basis, but I'll be looking forward to seeing most if not all the eventual members of the team during that run of three weeks.

My response to anyone who suggests we shall be anything other than a strongly bonded team is to believe that at your peril.? There are few more competitive persons in sport than myself and I will leave nothing to chance.

Anders Forsbrand, my Vice Captain, will be visiting Oakland Hills next month.? We've learned that 46 trees had to be cut down because they are diseased, so we need to look if that has changed the nature of any of the holes.? I understand the 15th - a dogleg - might play differently.? Anders will report back on how the width of the fairways, the height of the rough is shaping.

Then I'll be back in Europe at the BMW International Open in Munich at the end of August, not to play, but to select the two wild cards.? It looks like I might have a difficult choice, but that is why there is a Captain and why I will be concentrating on that and that alone at the weekend.

Right now, though, the top five in the rankings, with seven tournaments to go, are Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Lee Westwood, who all have terrific Ryder Cup experience - they've played 49 matches between them - and I know we are going to have a very strong team capable of bringing the Cup back.

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