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Europe Delays Naming Ryder Cup Captain

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VIRGINIA WATER, England -- Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer will have to wait a few months longer to find out whether they were selected to captain the 2004 European Ryder Cup team.
 
The European Ryder Cup board said Friday it would make the announcement no earlier than May 22, the opening day of the Volvo PGA Championship at Wentworth.
 
Woosnam, IanThe captain was expected to be named in February or March, but the board said it needed more time to change its selection process.
 
The new procedure is likely to include the top five players from the European Order of Merit, five from the world rankings and two picked by the captain.
 
Under the present system, the top 10 players from the Order of Merit make the team automatically and the captain adds two picks. This system has been weakened in recent years because many of Europe's top players compete in the United States.
 
Langer, Bernhard``There are a number of important issues to be confirmed, including the selection process for the 2004 European team that will, in part, be based on a variation of the official world golf rankings,'' spokesman Mitchell Platts said.
 
Sam Torrance, who captained the victorious 2002 team, has endorsed Woosnam to head the 2004 team at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Woosnam was Torrance's assistant this year.
 
Langer has helped build golf's popularity in Europe outside Britain and Ireland.