How the European Team is Shaping Up

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The 34th Ryder Cup will be contested Sept. 27-29, a year after they were originally scheduled. The 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States postponed the Matches at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England. With the delay, a little rust has formed on some of the participants. Here's a brief look at how European team members have fared in 2002, and in the Ryder Cup.
 

DARREN CLARKE
 
Amazingly, Clarke is one of only three European team members to have won a title in 2002 (Sergio Garcia and Thomas Bjorn). The burly Northern Irishman has played well in Europe and in the States. He won the English Open and finished second in Houston.
 
Clarkes only health issue is his left big toe. He dropped a suitcase on his foot while packing to leave the PGA Championship. He said it got better as the week progressed at the WGC-NEC Invitational, and expects to be fully recovered by Cup time.
 
Clarke played in both the 1997 and 99 Ryder Cups, compiling a 3-4 record.
 

PADRAIG HARRINGTON
 
Harrington is Europes most consistent player. He tied for fifth at the Masters; tied for eighth at the U.S. Open; tied for fifth in the British; and tied for 17th in the PGA Championship.
 
The one thing lacking on Harringtons resume this season is a victory. He's also battling nagging neck and ankle injuries that may hinder his play.
 
He earned his first Ryder Cup berth by finishing second in each of the final two events of the qualifying period. He then went 1-1-1 in the 1999 Matches.
 

THOMAS BJORN
 
Bjorn has been playing well of late, and rewarded himself with his first victory of the year at the BMW International. Prior to his win in Germany, he tied for eighth in the British Open and tied for 15th at the NEC.
 
The Dane didnt qualify for the 1999 Matches, but went 1-0-1 in his maiden appearance in 97.
 

COLIN MONTGOMERIE
 
The 39-year-old Scot has been plagued with a bad back this year. Despite four consecutive top-4 finishes in the middle of the year, he is on the verge of going winless on the European Tour for the first time since 1992.
 
He withdrew from the NEC and the BMW International, citing back problems.
 
Montgomerie is competing in his sixth straight Ryder Cup. His overall record is 12-7-4. He is 3-0-2 in singles play.
 

PIERRE FULKE
 
Fulke has only two top-10 finishes since January, but did tie for 10th in the PGA Championship.
 
The Cup rookie made the team based on his two victories in 2000 and his runner-up in the 2001 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
 

LEE WESTWOOD
 
Westwood is coming off his most encouraging finish of the season, a tie for 15th at the NEC.
 
Over a span of two winless years, the Englishman has dropped from fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking to well outside the top 100. He has yet to post a top-10 finish this season.
 
Westwood is 4-6 in two previous Cup appearances.
PAUL MCGINLEY
 
McGinley opened the season with a tie for fifth in the Dunhill Championship, but since has one top-10 and nine missed cuts in 20 starts. After tying for 18th in the Masters, he missed the cut in each of the final three majors.
 
The Irishman is one of four rookies on the European team.
 

NICLAS FASTH
 
The 2001 British Open runner-up has had a silently successful season. He started the year by making it to the Round of 16 in the WGC-Match Play. He then finished second in Dubai.
 
He finished runner-up again at the Murphys Irish Open, and has a pair of sixth-place ties in the European Open and Volvo Scandinavian Masters.
 
The Swede is making his Ryder Cup debut.
 

BERNHARD LANGER
 
The 45-year-old German earned his fifth career runner-up in his native countrys BMW International. It was his best finish of the year, and one of only two top-10s.
 
Langer is easily the most experienced member on either team. He is making his 10th Ryder Cup appearance. Only Nick Faldo (11) has played in more Matches.
 
Langer has a career 18-15-5 record. The 1999 Ryder Cup was the only edition he has missed in two decades.
 
Langer has been the hero and the goat. He missed a six-footer for par that gave the U.S. the Cup in 1991, and then went 3-1-1 in Europes 1997 upset over the highly-favored Americans.
 

PHILLIP PRICE
 
Price earned a pair of third-place finishes in June, but has recorded only two rounds in the 60s over the last two months. His title defense in the Algarve Open de Portugal resulted in a tie for 60th.
 
This is his first Cup appearance.
 

SERGIO GARCIA
 
Garcia started the season with a victory in the PGA Tours Mercedes Championships and a win in the European Tours Spanish Open. The 22-year-old Spaniard also finished in the top 10 in all four majors.
 
Garcia was brilliant in his Ryder Cup debut in 1999, going 3-1-1. He earned all 3 points by partnering with Jesper Parnevik. His singles loss came at the hands of Jim Furyk (4 and 3).
 

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
Parnevik vowed he would play every event this year until he won. After going 0-10, he took a week off. The Swede has still yet to win this season, and has only two top-10s in 24 starts.
 
After teaming with Garcia for three victories and a halve in foursomes and four-balls, Parnevik lost his singles match to David Duval, 5 and 4. He has a 4-2-3 record in two Ryder Cup Matches.
 
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