Golf: European Ryder Cup team

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LANGER

Born: Anhausen, Germany, 27 August 1957.

Turned pro: 1972. Cup matches: 6. Record: P25 W11 H5 L9 (foursomes 4-0-6, fourballs 5-2-2, singles 2-3-1). Majors: US Masters 1985, '93. Qualifying place: 1st.

Twice as hard as nails. Leads the European Tour Bible study class and puts the fear of God into everybody else.

FALDO

Born: Welwyn Garden City, Herts, 18 July 1957. Turned pro: 1976. Matches: 8. Record: P31 W17 H2 L12 (foursomes 6-2-4, fourballs 6-0-5, singles 5-0-3). Majors: Open 1987, '90, '92; US Masters 1989, '90. Qualifying place: 2nd.

As relentless a competitor as Langer. Two of a kind. A leading shareholder in Gallacher's blue chip company. World No 1 says it all.

MONTGOMERIE

Born: Glasgow, 23 June 1963. Turned pro: 1987. Cup matches: 1. Record: P3 W1 H1 L1 (foursomes 0-0-1, fourballs 1-0-0, singles 0-1-0). Qualifying place: 3rd.

Big Monty is not quite blue chip but he is always there or thereabouts even if sometimes he gives the impression of not quite being all there.

ROCCA

Born: Bergamo, Italy, 4 December 1956. Turned pro: 1981. Cup matches: Debut. Qualifying place: 4th.

Like Monty, the solid Rocca had qualified emphatically on merit. No messing around: play and earn and nobody has earned it more than this man.

LANE

Born: Hayes, Middlesex, 21 June 1960.

Turned pro: 1976. Cup matches: Debut. Qualifying place: 5th.

Has come of age. Another journeyman who has finally discovered the red carpet. A late arrival but not too late. Getting better season by season.

WOOSNAM

Born: Oswestry, 2 March 1958. Turned pro: 1976. Cup matches: 5. Record: P21 W8 H3 L10 (foursomes 2-2-2, fourballs 6-1-3, singles 0-0-5). Majors: US Masters, 1991. Qualifying place: 6th.

I had my doubts about him. But when he needed to play like a champion he did so at the Murphy's English Open two weeks ago. Perhaps he is still hungry . . . and thirsty.

BAKER

Born: Shifnal, Shropshire, 7 October 1967. Turned pro: 1986. Cup matches: Debut. Qualifying place: 7th.

Young but enjoying the best year of his career. Marriage and a family seems to have turned him from a confused player into a winner. Focused and maturing.

JAMES

Born: Manchester, 28 October 1953. Turned pro: 1975. Cup matches: 5. Record: P19 W7 H1 L11 (foursomes 1-0-5, fourballs 5-0-3, singles 1-1- 3). Qualifying place: 8th.

Eccentric but, oddly enough, reliable. Jesse, as he is widely known, was wild enough years ago to make Baker look like a choirboy. Strong and intelligent.

TORRANCE

Born: Largs, Scotland, 24 August 1953. Turned pro: 1970. Cup matches: 6. Record: P21 W4 H5 L12 (foursomes 1-0-6, fourballs 2- 3-3, singles 1-2-3). Qualifying place: 9th.

A veteran and a great team man even if his results are not great. Mention the Ryder Cup and he goes misty eyed. Don't mention sleep-walking.

BALLESTEROS

Born: Pedrena, Spain, 9 April 1957. Turned pro: 1974. Cup matches: 6. Record: P30 W17 H5 L8 (foursomes 9-1-2, fourballs 6-2-4, singles 2-2-2). Majors: Open 1979, '84, '88; US Masters '80, '83. Qualifying place: wild card (38th).

On form, no way of qualifying, on reputation, no way he could be left out. Has barely found the fairway recently but a head-to- head against the US? Pride and prejudice.

OLAZABAL

Born: Fuenterrabia, Spain, 5 February 1966. Turned pro: 1985. Cup matches: 3. Record: P15 W10 H2 L3 (foursomes 5-1-0, fourballs 4-1-1, singles 1-0-2). Qualifying place: wild card (12th).

Still regarded as one of the best players not to win a major and that stigma is probably wearing him down. At The Belfry Seve will have to lift him up.

HAEGGMAN

Born: Kalmar, Sweden, 28 August 1969. Turned pro: 1989. Cup matches: Debut. Qualifying place: wild card (10th).

Like Baker he has come through this year. A very hard man who has achieved what no Swede, given a head start, has achieved before.

(Photographs omitted)

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