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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 September, 2004, 01:42 GMT 02:42 UK
Thursday's Ryder Cup diary
By John Mathews
BBC Sport at Oakland Hills

Garcia (2nd right) gives a good luck bracelet to Darren Clarke
Garcia hopes the bracelets will give luck to Clarke and his team-mates
Superstitious Spaniard Sergio Garcia has persuaded some of his team-mates to wear the lucky charm bracelets he has been sporting since The Masters.

Made from twisted fibres and blessed by monks, they now adorn the wrists of Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.

But if either man decides to bin them, he had better get a bonfire going.

Garcia explains: "When they start to wear out you're supposed to burn them. The good feelings are released into the air for the next person who wears one."

Wonder if he's asked Monty to try one on yet.

European rookie Thomas Levet says his popularity in France has soared since he was chosen to take part in the Ryder Cup.

Golf is not as widely played in France as it is in other parts of the continent, but Levet says he has never been so well known.

"When I won the Scottish Open or lost the play-off in The Open, articles about me were about a fifth of the size they are at the moment," he said.

Levet claims he's now as famous as tennis star Amelie Mauresmo in France.

Still a good way short of Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane then.

US golfer Chris Riley
US golfer Chris Riley has had plenty to celebrate this month
Over on the American team, one of the players making his debut has his own reasons for being pleased as punch.

Like Europe's Lee Westwood, Chris Riley celebrated his daughter's birth this month and was due to cut the umbilical cord until wife Michelle stopped him.

"You can't even sign your own name right now!" she warned.

The birth means Michelle is not at Oakland Hills with Riley, though US skipper Hal Sutton has stepped in to keep him company at official functions.

Sutton told him: "Chris, I'm your date tonight."

The very quotable Sutton has fostered an impressive collective spirit among his millionaire soloists at the team hotel.

He has an unusual method of getting his elite golfers to bond, making them play table tennis and pool together.

And Jay Haas is carving himself a new reputation - he is said to be the man to beat at nine ball.

Whether they have to nominate and stick to a pocket on the black has not been recorded.

Wednesday's Ryder Cup diary
15 Sep 04  |  Golf
Tuesday's Ryder Cup diary
14 Sep 04  |  Golf

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