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European Captain Bernhard Langer watches the play during the first practice day for the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country Club on September 14, 2004 in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
European Captain Bernhard Langer watches the play during the first practice day for the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country Club on September 14, 2004 in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Langer Gives Nothing Away


September 14, 2004

Bernhard Langer was giving nothing away in terms of possible pairings when he sent his charges out in threeballs on the first day of practice at Oakland Hills Country Club.

The usual form is for players to go out in fours, possibly trying out some potential partnerships, but Langer chose to send the European Team out as threes to concentrate on how to play the golf course rather than worry about who might be playing with who.

"The key today is to have a good look at the golf course, not worry about pairings," said Langer. "Go out and get a feel of the golf course, get a game plan, learn where to hit the tee shots, the second shots and the best places to make a birdie. Players also like to hit a few putts, a couple of drives and off you go out in fours it can take too long and take too much out of them. I don't want them worn out before we start."

The four three balls saw Ryder Cup rookie Luke Donald out with Padraig Harrington and Miguel Angel Jim?nez, a partnership from the last Ryder Cup in the United States in 1999 at Brookline.

Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood, who struck up one of the most successful pairings of the 2002 Matches at The De Vere Belfry, went out with Europe's most experienced player Colin Montgomerie.

Ulsterman Darren Clarke, back at the course where he made his US Open debut in 1996, familiarised himself with the Oakland Hills set up in the company of another two English rookies Paul Casey and David Howell.

Paul McGinley, the hero of The De Vere Belfry after holing the winning putt in 2002, went out with the fourth of the English Young Guns, Ian Poulter, and Thomas Levet, the second Frenchman to play in The Ryder Cup.

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