Golf: Ryder Cup - United States Ryder Cup team

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Tiger Woods

Age: 21. World No 2 Ryder Cup debut

Power and panache made him the youngest Masters champion and world No 1 ever. Not as inspired in the succeeding majors. Will have to restrain himself at Valderrama, which needs precision rather than power. Could be an inspiration.

Justin Leonard

Age: 25. World No 11 Ryder Cup debut

Young, aggressive, mentally strong, brilliant putter. The description may also belong to others but perfectly sums up the Open champion. Has Walker Cup experience from only four years ago. Poker-faced on the course, lights up off it.

Tom Lehman

Age: 38. World No 5 2nd Ryder Cup

Record W2 L1

Brilliant season in 1996, capped by winning the Open at Royal Lytham. Not won as much this year, but produced a superb performance to destroy a world-class field at Loch Lomond in July.

Davis Love III

Age: 33. World No 10 3rd Ryder Cup

Record W5 L4

The son of a pro, achieved emotional victory at the US PGA. With Leonard, one of the two Montgomerie would like to avoid this week. Ryder Cup is the only event where he has wanted to throw up on the course.

Jim Furyk

Age: 27. World No 21 Ryder Cup debut

Odd-looking swing with large loop, but text-book in the last couple of feet before the impact. Works for him, though. Ranked alongside Faxon as a putter. Finished in the top six at each of the US Open, Open and US PGA.

Phil Mickelson

Age: 27. World No 8 2nd Ryder Cup

Record W3 L0

Highly talented and imaginative, especially in the short game department. Only unbeaten player two years ago at Oak Hill when making his debut. Perfectly suited to match play golf, can always get out of trouble.

Jeff Maggert

Age: 33. World No 28 2nd Ryder Cup

Record W2 L2

Quiet man, but capable of low scores, as with his 65 in the final round of the US PGA to qualify. Involved in the four-way battle on the last day of the US Open at Congressional, but was the first to fall away.

Mark O'Meara

Age: 40. World No 9 4th Ryder Cup

Record W2 L5 H1

A worker, never gives up, short game refined through practice and experience. Won the Lancome Trophy, without playing at his best, two weeks ago. Friend and guiding hand of .

Scott Hoch

Age: 41. World No 14 Ryder Cup debut

Oldest rookie in town. Would have played before if he had holed a short putt to beat Faldo at first play-off hole at 1989 Masters. Good job the match is not at St Andrews, where he skipped the 1995 Open and ripped the Old Course apart.

Brad Faxon

Age: 36. World No 16 2nd Ryder Cup

Record W1 L2

Missed a crucial putt to lose to David Gilford last time, but put it out of his mind quickly. Now rated one of the best putters in the world. Driving can be suspect and, off form, could rattle around the cork trees.

Lee Janzen

Age: 33. World No 38 2nd Ryder Cup

Record L2

US Open champion in 1993, when, in his only previous appearance, he lost both his matches at The Belfry. Unlucky to miss out two years ago, when he won the week after the qualifying finished.

Fred Couples

Age: 37. World No 12 5th Ryder Cup

Record W5 L7 H4

Arrived early to allow his ailing back a chance to recover. Hardly played at times this year, due to family illnesses, but finished seventh at the Masters and the Open to claim a wild card for Valderrama.

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