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The winning European team at The 2002 Ryder Cup (Getty Images)
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2002-2004: Best Ryder Cup quotes

With just four weeks until The 42nd Ryder Cup begins at Le Golf National in France, rydercup.com looks back on the best quotes from previous Ryder Cups.

We start with the 2002 edition, held at The Belfry's Brabazon Course, a venue the Europeans had won at twice before in 1985 and 1989. Sam Torrance became the fifth Scot to lead Europe and he welcomed Curtis Strange's United States side to Warwickshire.

After the first two days of play, the scores were tied at 8-8. It was the first time since 1991 that both sides were level on points heading into the Sunday Singles matches, with the visitors looking to win back-to-back for the first time since 1993. 

However, it proved to be Europe's week, with 7½ points claimed on the final day to secure a 15½ - 12½ win. Paul McGinley sank the decisive putt in his singles match against Jim Furyk, winning the half point that guaranteed victory.

Let's look back on the best of the quotes from that memorable week...

"I knew the line. It was a matter of having the nerve to hit it on line and fortunately I did." - Paul McGinley, on the putt that confirmed the destiny of the trophy.

"There were 11 heroes on this team and there's one that's a slightly bigger hero today, and that's Paul McGinley." Pierre Fulke, on the significance of the Irishman's point against Furyk.

"To be able to make a putt in the singles when it mattered meant more to me than anything you can imagine." - Phillip Price, on his 3&2 win against Phil Mickelson.

"It had nothing to do with me. I led the boys to water and they drank copiously." - Sam Torrance, on the performance of his European team.

"The adrenalin is gone and the body is tired. But it is still exhilirating what happened these last few days." - Bernhard Langer, on the thrill of winning back The Ryder Cup.

In 2004, Bernhard Langer took over the European Captaincy as the team travelled to Oakland Hills Country Club to face Hal Sutton's American side. Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey were among those to make their Ryder Cup debuts, with the former a Captain's pick along with Colin Montgomerie. 

Europe started with intent, leading 6½ - 1½ after Friday's play and 11-5 at the conclusion of Saturday's matches. Needing 4½ points to retain the trophy, Europe were well on their way when Sergio Garcia beat Phil Mickelson 3&2 in one of the early Sunday matches.

Colin Montgomerie claimed the decisive point, beating David Toms 1UP as the visitors marched to an astonishing 18½ - 9½ triumph.

Here are a selection of the best quotes from another superb week for European golf...

"We were down early, but came back strong. They have a lot of heart." - Bernhard Langer, on the performance of his European side in Michigan.

"The Europeans are great. They came here and played ferociously and holed putts when they needed to. We just got outplayed." - Hal Sutton, on the quality of the opposition at Oakland Hills' South Course.

"We are one of the closest-knit teams in international sport. It's amazing how we play for each other." - Colin Montgomerie, on the camaraderie on display.

"The US are always stronger on paper, but we have a lot of courage and always seem to be able to get it done." - Luke Donald, on Europe's ability to defy the odds.

"I didn't put a point on the board before the singles, but now I feel like I put 20 on it." - Thomas Levet, on beating Fred Funk 1UP.