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Team Europe Bernhard Langer (L) and Team USA Captain Hal Sutton hold the Ryder Cup Trophy on the first tee at Oakland Hills Country Club during a news conference September 29, 2003 in Bloomfield, Michigan. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)
Team Europe Bernhard Langer (L) and Team USA Captain Hal Sutton hold the Ryder Cup Trophy on the first tee at Oakland Hills Country Club during a news conference September 29, 2003 in Bloomfield, Michigan. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)

Europe defend at Oakland Hills

Bernhard Langer and Hal Sutton have played in 10 and four Ryder Cup Matches, respectively, but for both these venerable Major Champions, the 35th edition at Oakland Hills Country Club will represent a special experience in their celebrated careers.


September 14, 2004

Bernhard Langer and Hal Sutton have played in 10 and four Ryder Cup Matches, respectively, but for both these venerable Major Champions, the 35th edition at Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Township, Detroit, Michigan, will represent a special experience in their celebrated careers.

For Langer and Sutton will, as the respective Team Captains of Europe and the United States, lead 24 outstanding players into action from September 17-19 on the rolling fairways of the South Course christened "The Monster" when Ben Hogan won his third US Open Championship in 1951 at Oakland Hills.

Langer, winner of the Masters Tournament in 1985 and 1993, said: "It's an honour to be the Captain of The European Team, and to work alongside Hal Sutton. We've been great friends for many years and I'm positive we will continue where many Captains have left off, especially Sam Torrance and Curtis Strange. They did a wonderful job in 2002. They brought sportsmanship to the fore and I know that Hal agrees with me that at the end of the day this is a game. Sure both Teams want to win, but this is a game with the emphasis on fair play with great golf to thrill the fans."

Sutton, who captured the 1983 US PGA Championship, said: "The Teams are set. All the decisions are made. I know you're going to see exciting golf at Oakland Hills. It's going to be very competitive and spirited, but as Bernhard says we are going to treat the game with respect and all of us are going to be gentlemen. I'm excited, we're all excited and we look forward to a fabulous Match."

The biennial competition, first played in 1927, is recognised as the greatest team contest in sport. Europe have won five and tied one of the last nine matches and since 1985 the overall points score is Europe 130, the United States 122. It could hardly be closer and now another three days of high drama and great theatre is assured.

As Stewart Cink, one of Sutton's two wild card selections, said: "The week at The De Vere Belfry in 2002 is the best memory I have in golf in terms of great camaraderie and great competition. Once you play on a Ryder Cup Team, you realise how special it is, how lucky you are. It's competitive on the fairways; it's special in the locker room. It's totally different to any other tournament."

Langer added a message to the fans whom he recognises truly appreciate and value their sport: "I invite everyone this week to share our respect and uphold the integrity of the game which makes golf so special in the eyes of the sporting world."

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