Ryder Cup Champs Back in Action


2004 The HeritageMILTON KEYNES, England -- Colin Montgomerie insists the difference is clear between the European and U.S. Ryder Cup teams: The Europeans worked better as a team.
'We have always bowed to the U.S. tour, but it's about time now to pat ourselves on the back and say: `We are equal, if not beyond',' Montgomerie said Wednesday on the eve of The Heritage.
'The American team played for their country, but we played for each other. There is a massive difference.'
Montgomerie and Ryder Cup teammates David Howell, Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter will be competing Thursday when play begins at The Heritage. The tournament is a tribute to retiring European Tour executive director Ken Schofield, who leaves at the end of the year.
Howell and Paul Casey won the pivotal point of the week in Saturday's fourball against Jim Furyk and Chad Campbell. Howell was still weary Wednesday.
'I've not slept enough. I don't even know what day it is,' said Howell, who lost his singles on Sunday, 6 and 4, to Furyk.
Poulter, who made his debut in last weekend's 18 1/2-9 1/2 rout, said the Ryder Cup was a learning experience. After losing a fourball with Darren Clarke to Tiger Woods and Chris Riley, Poulter beat Riley, 3 and 2, in singles.
'I learned more last week than in any of the five wins, like how to handle the pressure,' he said. 'I understand myself a bit more under those pressure situations.'

Harrington celebrated with cousin Joey Harrington, the quarterback of the Detroit Lions.
'I was following his game when I was on the golf course. I don't think he could follow our game when he was on the field,' he said. 'The only strange thing was that we couldn't get into a bar at 2 o'clock in the morning. It wouldn't happen in Ireland.'
U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, also in the field this week, said there too much pressure on the U.S. pairing of Woods and Phil Mickelson.
'Personally, I thought it was a bad grouping from the start,' he said. 'How can you put the two best players together? You want to have a good player with one who is not so experienced to help him along.'
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