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Hal Sutton selected to captain 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup Team


August 19, 2004

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Hal Sutton, a member of four Ryder Cup Teams and winner of the 1983 PGA Championship, has been has been selected by The Professional Golfers' Association of America to captain the 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup Team. Sutton will guide a 12-member team in the 35th Ryder Cup Matches, Sept. 14-19, 2004, at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Mich.

Sutton, 44, competed on the 1985, '87, '99 and 2001 Ryder Cup Teams, and left his mark in the competition by an inspiring 3-1-1 record in 1999 to spark a U.S. comeback victory at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. The winner of 14 PGA Tour events, Sutton became only the third wire-to-wire winner of a PGA Championship when he captured the 1983 Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Sutton is the 23rd Ryder Cup Captain and the 14th PGA Champion to guide a team in one of the world's most compelling sports events.

Sutton will lead a U.S. Team that seeks to win back the Ryder Cup that it surrendered Sept. 29, in a 15 1/2 to 12 1/2 defeat to Europe at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. Since 1987, the Ryder Cup has been decided by a total of three points or less, with three of the last five Matches decided by identical 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 margins. Europe has won possession of the Ryder Cup in six of the last nine competitions.

"Hal Sutton's passion for the game, his drive to become a champion and his leadership in past Ryder Cup Matches make him the ideal leader to guide the American team in the 2004 Matches," said PGA of America President Jack Connelly. "Hal was a key member of past Ryder Cup Teams and his performances have earned him the respect of his teammates as well as many around the world."

A native and resident of Shreveport, La., Sutton won the 1980 U.S. Amateur Championship and turned professional the following year. One of the most successful players of the 1980s, Sutton won the 1983 PGA Player of the Year Award.

Sutton and his wife, Ashley, have three daughters: Samantha Jean, 5; and twins Sara Rias and Sadie Ann, 3.

Sutton joins a succession of golf's greatest players in the role of Ryder Cup Captain. Walter Hagen, the first Captain in 1927, was followed by such legendary performers as Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino.

Oakland Hills Country Club, one of the most active sites of championship golf in America, will host its first Ryder Cup Matches. During World War II, Oakland Hills hosted exhibition charity matches involving the 1940 and '42 U.S. Ryder Cup Teams that were unable to face Europe.

Oakland Hills has hosted six U.S. Open Championships, the 1972 and 1979 PGA Championships, the 1981 and 1991 U.S. Senior Open, the 1929 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship and the 2002 U.S. Amateur Championship. In 2008, Oakland Hills will host the 90th PGA Championship.

The Ryder Cup Matches began in 1927 when enterprising English seed merchant Samuel Ryder commissioned the casting of a gold chalice that bears his name. The U.S. Team defeated Great Britain, 9 to 2, in the inaugural matches in Worcester, Mass.

Since then, except for a span (1939-45) during World War II, the Ryder Cup Matches have been held biennially with the U.S. and Europe alternating as host. Since 1985, Europe owns a 5-3-1 advantage in golf's preeminent event.

The PGA of America's point system to determine 10 of the 12 members of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team began in January 2002, and concludes Aug. 15, 2004, at the 86th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.

Founded in 1916, The PGA of America is a not-for-profit organization composed of more than 27,000 men and women professionals who are dedicated to growing the game of golf.

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