Langer Named 2004 European Captain
The 45-year-old Langer made himself available for the job less than two weeks ago and was chosen Thursday over Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle.
The announcement followed a meeting of the European Tour Tournament Committee, whose recommendation of Langer was accepted immediately by the Ryder Cup Committee.
Langer, a two-time Masters champion and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, replaces Sam Torrance, who did not want to be considered for the post.
'It's a fabulous honor to be named European captain,' Langer said.
Hal Sutton will be the Ryder Cup captain for the United States when Europe defends the Cup at Oakland Hills Country Club outside Detroit in September 2004.
'It is an honor for me to captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team against the European team led by Bernhard Langer, who is someone I'm proud to call a friend as well as a respected golf opponent,' said Sutton, who lost two singles matches to Langer in the Ryder Cup. 'Bernhard is one of the ultimate competitors in golf, possessing all the intangibles of what it takes to produce teamwork in Ryder Cup matches.'
Langer has played on 10 Ryder Cup teams, winning 21 of 42 matches, losing 15 and halving six. He made his Cup debut in 1981 and was part of Europe's winning teams in 1985, '87, and '95.
'I've never made a secret of how much I enjoy being part of the Ryder Cup, and to be captain makes me very proud, especially as the first German golfer to hold this prestigious honor,' he said.
Langer won three matches and halved one of the four he played last year at The Belfry when Europe beat the Americans 151/2-121/2.
As a Ryder Cup player, Langer is remembered missing the putt that would have enabled Europe to retain the trophy at Kiawah Island in 1991. Playing in the last singles match against Hale Irwin, Langer missed a putt from 5 feet.
'I am looking forward to the challenge of captaining the European team in the United States,' Langer said. 'Vikki, my wife, is American and we have made our home in the United States, so I believe I have a solid appreciation of what it will take to be the European captain at Oakland Hills Country Club.'
Woosnam was the vice-captain to Torrance, and Lyle was the only other player to put his name forward.
Langer's appointment brought immediate approval.
'I think he was the obvious choice because of his connections in America,' said Mark James, Europe's captain in 1999 at Brookline. 'He will bring to the captaincy all the qualities he has shown on the European Tour, gritty determination to get the job done and leaving no stone unturned in his search for perfection.'
Lyle expected Langer's selection.
'He is probably the best man anyway,' Lyle said.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.
Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.
Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.
Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:
12/1: Dustin Johnson
16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose
20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm
25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods
30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed
40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton
50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick
60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson
80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele
100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.
Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.
Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.
There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.
There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.
Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.
John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.
Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.
Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.
“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”
Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.
“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”
But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.
“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”