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Last Updated: Monday, 13 September, 2004, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Europe's greatest Ryder Cup star?
From left to right: Tony Jacklin, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Sam Torrance, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie

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 received 49% of the vote to beat Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros by a mile.

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


Nick Faldo
By Rob Hodgetts

FALDO FACTS
Nick Faldo
Born: 18/7/1957, England
Ryder Cup appearances: 11 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985 (winners), 1987 (w), 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 (w), 1997 (w)
Ryder Cup record: Played 46, won 23, lost 19, halved four
Points scoring ratio: 54%
Nick Faldo's claim to be Europe's greatest Ryder Cup star is based on hard evidence - as the winner of the most number of points in the history of the event.

Faldo's 25 points from 46 matches in 11 events makes him the most successful Ryder Cup player ever - a benchmark for any future stars.

The Englishman's Cup career spanned three decades in which he was at the forefront of Europe's revival in the biennial event against the Americans.

The six-time major champion cultivated the image of the "iceman", relentlessly grinding down his opponents with pinpoint iron-play and unerring consistency.

And beneath the dour, monosyllabic exterior was the ultimate solo sportsman fighting for his colleagues and thriving as part of a team.

Faldo made his debut at Royal Lytham in 1977, the last year of Great Britain and Ireland before the continental Europeans were incorporated.

He won three points from three matches but it was still an era of US domination and the home side crashed to a five-point defeat.

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

In the following two events the European team suffered a similar fate but in 1983 Faldo won four points out of five as Tony Jacklin's Europe missed out by one point to Jack Nicklaus' America.

The historic 1985 win was a time of great elation for Europe but Faldo, who was going though a period of swing rebuilding with coach David Leadbetter, lost both of his matches.

He returned in 1987 as the Open champion and won three-and-a-half points out of five as Europe retained the Cup at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

Faldo was an ever-present on the next five Ryder Cup sides, ending with a singles record of won six, lost four and halved one.

His overall points-scoring average of 54% is low compared to Jose Maria Olazabal's 62% or Seve Ballesteros' 60%.

But Faldo's Ryder Cup legacy will be his longevity and he may not be finished yet.




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