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European Team captain Bernhard Langer of Germany 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 Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
European Team captain Bernhard Langer of Germany 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 Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Langer Spoilt For Choice


September 14, 2004

Bernhard Langer's meticulous planning will certainly serve him well when it comes to selecting his pairings for the fourball and foursomes matches on Friday and Saturday. He will leave no stone unturned as he attempts to find his best partnerships.

According to Langer one thing that he has already discovered is that so strong is his team's unity that he can pair any of his players together.

"I think I'm in a unique situation where I could play pretty much all of my guys. They respect each other. They can all play. There's no real weakness amongst them. And all would love to play with each other," said Langer.

"I don't have a situation where three guys come up to me and say: 'Oh, please don't ever pair me with this guy because I can't stand him," he added.

Langer, along with his America counterpart Hal Sutton, will submit his pairings for Friday's opening fourball matches on Thursday at 2.15 pm (ET).

"I have a lot of options and a lot of freedom to choose and decide who plays with whom and there might not be two many guys playing five matches. I might switch them around for fourball and foursomes. We'll see as time gets closer," said Langer.

On Tuesday he decided to let his players practice in three balls so that they could concentrate on getting used to playing the course and not worry about playing pairs.

"We have two more days if that's necessary to get some of the guys together and try this or that. I don't even think that is necessary, but there will be a few of them going out the next few days who might end up playing together on Friday or Saturday," said the German.

Despite his many options Langer says he will rely on the obvious ways of determining who plays with whom.

He says: "I need to see who gets along with one another but everyone does. Next thing is how well they practice out there every day, who is in the zone already, who is hitting it perfect and who is not striking it so well."

It is well known that the Europeans have been far more successful side when it comes to foursomes and fourball golf although Langer, like most, is not totally sure why.

"It's a difficult one to explain. I really don't know. At the bottom line it comes down to who makes a few putts more than the other team. That is really what it is. It's often just one or two more shots. It's been so close many, many times. I don't know what happens in the US team. I only know what happens in our team room. We get along very well. The Ryder Cup is very important to us. We try extremely hard to get there and then obviously to win the trophy," said Langer.


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