Langer May Step Aside

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NORD-EICHENRIED, Germany (AP) -- Bernhard Langer would consider giving up his captaincy of the 2004 European Ryder Cup team if it looked as though he could make the squad as a player.
 
'I think the most important thing is that we have the 12 best players on the course against the Americans,' said Langer, a two-time Masters champion. 'If I have a brilliant season I'll think about someone taking over at the top.'
 
Langer was chosen to lead the European team next year as it tries to retain the trophy won at The Belfry last September.
 
He is struggling this season but one of his top performances came at last week's NEC Invitational in Akron, Ohio, where he tied for 11th. He shot a 67 in the first round of the BMW Open on Thursday for a share of 14th place.
 
Langer said he would give considerable notice if he were to change his mind and pick up the clubs at the 2004 Ryder Cup. The tournament will be held Sept. 17-19 at Oakland Hills in Michigan.
 
'I know you can't do both,' he said. 'The player needs to be focused on playing and the captain on other things.'
 
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