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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 September, 2004, 22:54 GMT 23:54 UK
Europe's greatest Ryder Cup star?

Who is your greatest European Ryder Cup player?

SIX OF THE BEST

Colin Montgomerie has been crowned the BBC Sport website users' ultimate European Ryder Cup legend.

Throughout the 35th Ryder Cup we asked you to vote for your best player from one of six worthy contenders but the seven-time Cup veteran won by a mile from Nick Faldo followed by Seve Ballesteros.

This year you have also crowned Jack Nicklaus as your king of the Masters and voted Tom Watson as your greatest Open champion.


Bernhard Langer
By Rob Hodgetts

LANGER'S LORE
European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer
Born: 28/8/57, Germany
Ryder Cup appearances: 10 1981, 1983, 1985 (winners), 1987 (w), 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 (w), 1997 (w), 2002 (w)
Personal record: Played 42 matches, won 21, halved 6
Points scoring ratio: 54%

European captain Bernhard Langer has played in 10 Ryder Cups and commands the utmost respect for his professionalism and his integrity.

The 47-year-old German, who is a deeply religious and meticulous man, is a fierce competitor on the course.

Langer has played 42 Ryder Cup matches, winning 21 and halving six since his debut in 1981.

He has been on five winning teams, and beat opposing captain Hal Sutton in the singles at The Belfry in 2002.

Langer, a two-time US Masters champion, made his Ryder Cup debut at Walton Heath in 1981 when the matches were still exclusively dominated by the Americans.

He was at the forefront of the gathering pace of change in the established order, winning three points out of five matches, including another victory over Sutton in the singles, when Europe broke through with their historic win in 1985.

TOP EUROPEAN POINTS SCORERS
25 Nick Faldo
24 Bernhard Langer
22.5 Seve Ballesteros
18.5 Colin Montgomerie
17.5 Jose Maria Olazabal
17 Tony Jacklin
16.5 Ian Woosnam

The German won three-and-half points out of five in the 1987 European win at Muifield Village in Ohio but the missed putt at Kiawah Island in 1991 will haunt him forever.

All square going down the last in the match that would decide the Cup, Langer conceded the American's bogey putt and then shaped up for a six-footer for par which would have kept the match alive at 13 points each.

Bernhard Langer
Langer agonises over his missed putt at Kiawah Island in 1991

But Langer missed and American reclaimed the Cup they had not held since 1985.

A classic example of Langer's meticulous preparation surfaced in Kiawah Island, when he famously asked playing partner Colin Montgomerie in Saturday afternoon's fourballs whether the yardage the Scot had given him on the first hole had been taken from the front of the sprinkler head or the back.

"Bernhard leaves very little to chance and even the bit he does will have been carefully analysed at some point," Langer's long-time friend and former caddie Pete Coleman told the official Ryder Cup website.

"I have never known him not be focused and ready for whatever he is doing, wherever he is playing. He expects others to work as hard as he does but he is an instinctively fair man."

Langer was ever present in the European side until 1999 when he was overlooked by skipper Mark James as a captain's pick for Brookline.

But he returned to forge a steely partnership with an in-form Colin Montgomerie at The Belfry in 2002, and won a total of three-and-a-half points out of four.

The quiet man of European golf is a tough nut to crack on the course and will hope to prove equally hard to beat off it as captain of the 2004 team.




VOTE RESULTS
Who is Europe's greatest Ryder Cup legend?
Tony Jacklin
4%
Seve Ballesteros
18%
Nick Faldo
23%
Bernhard Langer
2%
Sam Torrance
4%
Colin Montgomerie
49%
3927 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed




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