Langer Gets Up Close View of His Team


On the eve of the 35th Ryder Cup Matches, European captain Bernhard Langer will tee it up this week alongside most of his players at the Linde German Masters in Cologne, Germany.
Langer, who has won this event a record four times in his native country, will be joined by his three assistant captains in Thomas Bjorn, Anders Forsbrand and Joakim Haeggman. Seven of Langers 12 squad members also will be in the field at the Gut Lrchenhof Golf Club.
For Langer, who has played well this year and would have probably been on the team if not for being the captain, the week in Germany offers a great opportunity as captain.
Playing at the event which he co-hosts with his brother, will give Langer a chance to see first hand how his team is playing, as well as get a feel for what their mindset is before heading over to the United States for the matches at Oakland Hills CC in Michigan.
One player he surely won't have to worry much about is Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, perhaps the hottest player in the world outside of Vijay Singh.
Jimenez, a four-time winner already this season, is in fine form having won just two weeks ago in Germany at the BMW International and then placing second to Ryder Cup teammate Luke Donald at the Omega European Masters.
Jimenez, who finished runner-up last year to K.J. Choi, is currently third on the tour's Order of Merit list behind Els and Retief Goosen.
Choi will be back to defend his title in one of the richest events of the European Tour season.
Ryder Cup captain's pick Colin Montgomerie hopes to gain some confidence this week before heading across the pond for the much-anticipated matches. Langer was questioned about his choice of the Scotsman, but Montgomerie's record in Ryder Cup matches is second to none.
Montgomerie has enjoyed a good amount of success in this event with a first-place finish in 1998 to go along with a second, third and two other top 10s.
Other Ryder Cuppers in Germany are Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington, Thomas Levet, Paul McGinley and Ian Poulter.
Lee Westwood decided to skip the event and stay at home with his wife Laurae, son Samuel and new arrival Poppy Grace, born on Sunday.
David Howell is absent, nursing a heavy cold. And Darren Clarke opted out Wednesday, saying he didn't want to further injure an ailing right wrist.
Sergio Garcia and Donald never entered the field.
Also headlining the field is this year's British Open champion Todd Hamilton, who is making a triumphant return to Europe after his shocking playoff win over Ernie Els in July. He will be the only American in the field.
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds live beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.
The winner will receive a first-place check worth $604,000 from a purse of $3,626,000.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Linde German Masters