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Langer named as Europe's Ryder Cup captain for the 2004 Matches


August 19, 2004

The German was chosen over Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle, the only other men to put their names into the hat as candidates.

PORTMARNOCK, Ireland (AP) -- Bernhard Langer was named as Europe's next Ryder Cup captain Thursday, becoming the first German to hold the position.

Langer, 45, officially made himself available for the job less than two weeks ago and takes over from Sam Torrance, who did not want to stand again. Europe defends the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, Mich., from Sept. 17-19 2004.

Langer was chosen in preference to Ian Woosnam -- vice-captain to Torrance in last year's win at The Belfry -- and Sandy Lyle, the only other player to put his name forward.

"It's a fabulous honor to be named European captain," Langer said. "I've never made a secret of how much I enjoy being part of the Ryder Cup, and to be captain makes me very proud, especially as the first German golfer to hold this prestigious honor." Langer made 10 appearances on past teams as a player, winning 21 of his 42 matches, losing 15 and halving six.

He won three and halved one of the four matches he played last year at The Belfry.

Hal Sutton, captain of the United States team, applauded the selection of Langer.

"It is an honor for me to Captain the U.S. Ryder Cup Team against the European Team led by Bernhard Langer, who is someone I'm proud to call a friend as well as a respected golf opponent," Sutton said. "Bernhard is one of the ultimate competitors in golf, possessing all the intangibles of what it takes to produce teamwork in the Ryder Cup Matches. His dedication to a task and his strong work ethic will make it all the more challenging for our Team to reclaim the Ryder Cup.

" I've played with Bernhard many times over the years, including two Ryder Cup singles matches that he won -- so I owe him one! And I expect to solicit the help of the 12 best American players to get a little revenge at Oakland Hills in 2004 for the beatings he gave me in 1985 and 2002! Seriously though, Ashley and I look forward to spending a memorable journey with Bernhard and Vikki over the next 14 months."

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