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Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 15:13 UK

Langer backs Europe for Ryder Cup

Bernhard Langer
Langer led Europe to a Ryder Cup victory four years ago in Michigan

Former Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer says Europe are favourites for a fourth successive win when rivalries resume in Kentucky later this month.

Captain Nick Faldo will take a new-look side to face the US but Langer feels the Europeans still have the edge.

"We've won three in a row and the last two were landslide victories.

"We also have more Europeans higher in the world rankings than in the past," said Langer, who led the team to an 18-9 victory four years ago.

Faldo will arrive at the Valhalla Golf Club without almost half of Europe's victorious 2006 side at the K Club in Ireland, which also won by a nine-point margin.

Cup stalwart Colin Montgomerie, David Howell, Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and injured Luke Donald are all absent.

606: DEBATE

The inspirational Darren Clarke was also overlooked as Faldo named Ian Poulter and Paul Casey as his two captain's picks.

Langer is confident that Faldo's revamped team has what it takes to win on American soil but the German added: "I would make the Europeans favourite but what does that mean? Nothing.

"The Americans have been favourites for years and lost so it doesn't matter who we declare as favourites and who are underdogs, it matters who players better, who makes the putts and has more fun."

Langer, meanwhile, also suggested that Faldo's task would be made easier if he appointed another assistant to help him stay in touch with what is happening out on the course.

Olazabal will be his only assistant after McGinley gave up the job to concentrate on trying to qualify for the team, an attempt which ultimately proved unsuccessful.

"I think he's making a mistake by not having someone with each group," said Langer.

"I know as a captain I can't be everywhere and I need information. I need to know how they're playing, what's going on, and I think he'd be better off if he had somebody going with each group."

The 37th Ryder Cup takes place at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, from 19-21 September.


Ryder Cup schedule (All times BST)

Tuesday 1300-2300 Practice rounds

Wednesday 1300-2300 Practice rounds

Thursday 1300-2000 Final practice round
2100-2215 Opening ceremony

Friday 1305 Foursomes 1545 Fourballs

Saturday 1305 Foursomes 1745 Fourballs

Sunday 1703 Singles start 1904 Last tee time


see also
European Ryder Cup rankings
26 Aug 08 |  Golf


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