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Monday, October 25, 1999 Published at 22:08 GMT 23:08 UK


Strange calls truce in Ryder Cup war

Strange divides his time between playing and commentating

Curtis Strange has been named as America's new Ryder Cup captain vowing to do all he can to make sure there is no repeat of the scenes which marred last month's match in Boston.

Strange takes over from Ben Crenshaw, who led the USA to a fiercely-contested 14½-13½ victory over Europe in Boston last month.

Strange, a two-time US Open champion and five-time Ryder Cup veteran, has no qualms about braving the European ire in two years time.

Strange said he will stress that US players must have better control of their emotions than their much-criticised joyous display on the 17th green after Justin Leonard sank a long birdie putt at The Country Club.

"We celebrated a bit too much. We learned from that. We apologised for crossing the line of ettiquette we should have for other players.


[ image: Strange was gutted when he cost the USA Ryder Cup defeat in 1995]
Strange was gutted when he cost the USA Ryder Cup defeat in 1995
" Jose Maria has accepted the apologies and it did not affect the outcome of the matches at all. He's a big man to accept the apologies."

Strange knows all about Ryder Cup pressure - his singles defeat to England's Nick Faldo cost his side the 1995 Ryder Cup.

He needed only a half with Faldo in their head-to-head Oak Hill Country Club two years ago but he lost the final two holes to give Europe a vital point.

He was inconsolable at the awards ceremony but says he is relishing the chance to get back into the fray.

"Why would I want to throw myself in the fire? I like that. If you think you're good enough to win, you better have the guts to lose."

Heckling crackdown

Strange says he will have talks with his European counterparts regarding new measures to combat spectators who heckle players.

But Strange denied the matches have become too intense.

"I have no fears at all for the future of the Cup.

"We have one of the biggest sporting events in the world and when you get bigger there are bound to be growing pains.

"But I have the utmost confidence that what happened will be addressed. Far from thinking the matches have become too intense, I think they are fantastic.

Fair fight

"The Belfry is not going to be as tough as people imagine. European fans are wonderful fans, root very hard for their own team but they are wonderful to us.

"There are problems, not problems, certain instances, that have to be addressed and they will be addressed."

Strange said he would welcome the chance to captain against Scotland's Sam Torrance, favourite to replace outgoing European captain Mark James.

"That would be a wonderful pick," Strange said.

"I've known Sam for 23 years now, a wonderful player who brings experience to the team, well liked by all the players. I don't think you can ask for anything else. He will get their attention."



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