GOLF: THE UNITED STATES RYDER CUP TEAM

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Lanny Wadkins

Captain

An absolutely relentless competitor in each of the eight appearances he made as a player in the Cup - his 20 wins put him second only to Arnold Palmer. His problem is to pass that toughness on to the five rookies in his care.

Fred Couples

Age 35.

Majors: 1 (Masters 1992)

Ryder Cup caps: 3 (1989, 91, 93)

Record: P12 W3 H3 L6

Prone to back injury and form fluctuation. Key man in 1991 victory, but managed only two halves last time. Marvellous ball-striker. Earned a wild-card pick for his experience in a squad which notably lacks it.

Ben Crenshaw

Age 43.

Majors: 2 (Masters 1984, 95)

Ryder Cup caps: 3 (1981, 83, 87)

Record: P9 W3 H1 L5

Current Masters champion, whose last Ryder Cup appearance eight years ago saw him smash his putter in anger midway through crucial match with Eamonn Darcy. Forced to use a long-iron instead, he lost on final hole.

Brad Faxon

Age 34.

Majors: 0

Ryder Cup debut

Had to finish fifth in US PGA to qualify, and did so with amazing 63 in last round, including front nine in 28. One of five Cup debutants.

Jay Haas

Age 41.

Majors: 0

Ryder Cup caps: 1 (1983)

Record: P4 W2 H1 L1

Joint third in Masters and joint fourth in US Open. A fellow graduate with Arnold Palmer and Curtis Strange of Wake Forest University.

Peter Jacobsen

Age 41.

Majors: 0

Ryder Cup caps: 1 (1985)

Record: P3 W1 L2

After only four wins in 18 years, found best form of his career at start of this season with back-to-back victories, two seconds and a third. Does impersonations of other players, founded pop group "Jake Trout and the Flounders" and has own TV production company.

Tom Lehman

Age 36.

Majors: 0

Ryder Cup debut

Has been touring as a professional since 1982 but had to wait for his first win until 1994. Finished second in the Masters at Augusta last year, and third in the US Open this summer a matter of months after being hit by a cancer scare.

Davis Love

Age 31.

Majors: 0

Ryder Cup caps: 1 (1993)

Record: P4 W2 L2

Gained first major top 10 finish at Masters in April, followed up with fourth at US Open. With Fred Couples has won the World Cup for the last three years.

Jeff Maggert

Age 31

Majors: 0

Ryder Cup debut

Qualified by finishing joint third in US PGA last month. Only win on US circuit was in 1993, but last season had 11 top 10s. Was a college buddy of Philip Walton.

Phil Mickelson

Age 25.

Majors: 0

Ryder Cup debut

Amateur prodigy - he won US Tour event in 1991 while still at college - the left-hander finished third in the US PGA last season and joint fourth in June's US Open.

Corey Pavin

Age 35.

Majors: 1 (US Open 1995)

Ryder Cup caps: 2 (1991, 93)

Record: P8 W4 L4

Finally achieved first major title this June 13 years after turning professional. Pavin, only 5ft 9in and under 11st, also won 1993 World Match Play.

Loren Roberts

Age 40.

Majors: 0

Ryder Cup debut

Turned pro in 1975, had to go to US Tour qualifying school five times and did not win on Tour until March last year. Three months later was in play-off for US Open with Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie.

Curtis Strange

Age 40.

Majors: 2 (US Open 1988,89)

Ryder Cup caps: 4 (1983, 85, 87, 89)

Record: P17 W6 H2 L9

Has not won since the 1989 US Open - at Oak Hill. Three times America's leading money-winner, he beat Nick Faldo in a play-off for his first major victory and pushed Ian Woosnam into joint second place 12 months later

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