US Ryder Cup Team Arrives in Ireland

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36th Ryder Cup MatchesDUBLIN, Ireland -- The U.S. Ryder Cup team arrived Monday for two days of practice at The K Club, hoping to end its slump in golf's top team event.
 
The Europeans have won four of the last five Ryder Cups. The Americans, led by Tiger Woods, will be looking to make a better showing when the three-day event begins Sept. 22.
 
'Whether it sends a strong message or not, our whole deal is to come together, gain experience, gain some knowledge on the golf course and be ready to play come time for the cup,' Woods said.
 
Woods, who won the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday in Akron, Ohio, arrived on a charter with the other American players and captain Tom Lehman.
 
The winner of four straight tournaments, Woods has played the course outside Dublin several times. Others on the team have never played there.
 
'It was important for all of us to get together and be together and to jell as a team,' Woods said.
 
The American team includes four relatively unknown players: Vaughn Taylor, J.J. Henry, Zach Johnson and Brett Wetterich. The other eight members are: Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell, David Toms, Chris DiMarco, Stewart Cink and Scott Verplank.
 
Europe captain Ian Woosnam has seven players guaranteed of making the 12-man team: Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, David Howell, Colin Montgomerie, Robert Karlsson and Paul Casey.
 
Three other automatic places will be determined after Sunday's final qualifying event -- the BMW Invitational in Munich, Germany. Woosnam will then pick two more players as wild cards.
 
Europe won the last Ryder Cup in 2004, beating the Americans 18 1/2 -9 1/2 at Oakland Hills outside Detroit. The last U.S. victory was in 1999 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
 
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