Langer Picks Monty Donald

By Sports NetworkAugust 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Ryder CupMUNICH, Germany -- European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer finalized his team on Sunday when he added six-time Ryder Cup veteran Colin Montgomerie and rookie Luke Donald.
Montgomerie accumulated a 16-6-5 record in his six previous Ryder Cups. He finished 16th in the European Points List after a tie for third place at the BMW International Open, the final qualifying event for the European side.
Montgomerie is undefeated in his singles matches (4-0-2) and has played his best golf at the Ryder Cup. In his last three Ryder Cups, Montgomerie is 10-2-3, but has not played as well this season as years past. He went through a public divorce, but won the Caltex Masters and tied for ninth at the WGC-NEC Invitational.
'There are players who crumble under pressure and there are other who thrive on it. Colin thrives on it and I think his record proves that,' said Langer. 'Being No. 16 on the list, he was my first pick.'
Donald, a 26-year-old Englishman, won the Southern Farm Bureau Classic on the PGA Tour in 2002 and took the 2004 Scandinavian Masters at the beginning of August.
'Luke has had a tremendous year,' said Langer, who also cited Donald's impressive 7-1 record in two Walker Cup appearances. 'He came here knowing he couldn't play his way on to the team, which showed me how much he wanted to be on the team.'
Two players were left out, Alex Cejka and Fredrik Jacobson, who both made valiant efforts at the BMW International Open. Cejka tied for third, while Jacobson, who could have made the team on points, shared sixth place. Jacobson needed to tie for fourth place in Germany to make the team automatically.
Cejka and Jacobson both play a lot of golf in the United States. Cejka came in 17th on the World List, while Jacobson is sixth in the World List and 11th on the European Points List. Jacobson and his wife had their first baby this summer and he took several weeks off, but his 11th place standing on that European list makes him first alternate in the event one of the 12 players withdraws.
'I had to come to a decision of who would serve the team best,' said Langer. 'These guys deserve to actually be on the team, but I'm only given two wild- cards.'
There was more at stake on Sunday then trying to impress Langer. Four of the automatic spots were still up in the air, but the quartet that held the final four spots heading into the BMW International Open held on.
England's Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and David Howell joined Irishman Paul McGinley as automatic qualifiers. McGinley holed the final putt to secure the Cup for Europe in the 2002 event, while the other three are rookies.
Thomas Levet of France already sealed a berth on the team before this week through the European Points List.
BMW International Open champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia, Englishman Lee Westwood, Irishman Padraig Harrington and Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke secured the five spots available through the World Points List.
Poulter had the roughest day in trying to make the team. He took a double- bogey seven at the sixth, then a quadruple-bogey eight at No. 10. Poulter fell to 45th in the BMW International, which is the lowest he could fall and still earn enough money to hold off Jacobson.
Poulter made it through the rest of the final round with two eagles and two birdies to earn the final spot on the team.
'My performance after 10 was pretty good,' said Poulter. 'I'm fairly happy.'
The United States side, captained by Hal Sutton, was finalized after the PGA Championship. Sutton added Jay Haas and Stewart Cink as his two captain's picks the Monday after the PGA Championship.
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Kenny Perry, David Toms, Chad Campbell, Chris DiMarco, Fred Funk and Chris Riley made the American team on points.
The 35th Ryder Cup Matches are set for September 17-19 at Oakland Hills in Bloomfield, Michigan.
Related links:
  • European Ryder Cup Team

  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team

  • Full Coverage - 35th Ryder Cup
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