Introducing the United States team

"Experience is overrated. Good experience helps, but if your experience has been bad then it hurts so much that sometimes having no experience is better. I'm much more concerned with heart. I like our young guys because that is their strongest asset. Matchplay is a matter of the heart more than anything else" Tom Lehman, United States Captain
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TIGER WOODS

Age: 30. World ranking: 1

Caps: 4. Cup record: W7-L11-H2

Is America's top points-scorer

from the last four matches, but the Infallible One's baffling fallibility in the Cup is expressed in the fact that nobody has lost more games in this time. Has something to prove. Frightening.

PHIL MICKELSON

Age: 36. World ranking: 3

Caps: 5. Cup record: 9-8-3

Forever in Tiger's shadow, America's golden boy is probably thankful, as his own Cup record does not match his individual deeds. With a short game made for matchplay, seems strangely brittle in the mano a mano arena.

JIM FURYK

Age: 36. World ranking: 2

Caps: 4. Cup record: 4-9-2

Entrusted with being Tiger's straight man, Furyk has the strength to withstand insecur-ities of partnering an immortal. At the peak of his prowess, could be Lehman's most important cog. Funny swing, serious competitor.

CHAD CAMPBELL

Age: 32. World ranking: 20

Caps: 1. Cup record: 1-2-0

Described once as "the only boring Texan ever born", is nevertheless highly rated by his peers. A major waiting to happen, he is long and solid and will provide Lehman with options. Look out for his country-singing wife.

DAVID TOMS

Age: 39. World ranking: 14

Caps: 2. Cup record: 4-3-1

Before an irregular heartbeat sent his career out of rhythm last year, Toms was threatening the golfing galacticos. Retains all the assets that make him the perfect Cup performer. Unerring accuracy will be crucial in the foursomes.

CHRIS DiMARCO

Age: 37. World ranking: 15

Caps: 1. Cup record: 2-1-1

The soul of Lehman's team, he has put the joy back into American fist-pumping. An indestructible spirit, New Yorker will form a formidable pairing with Mickelson. "Claw" grip has turned him into one of world's best putters.

VAUGHN TAYLOR

Age: 30. World ranking: 59

Caps: Rookie

Qualified by dint of top-10 consistency. Has never had things easy; grew up in Augusta, but learnt on a municipal course. Lehman sees plenty of himself in this grinder. Matchplay inexperience may be negated by belligerence.

J J HENRY

Age: 31. World ranking: 62

Caps: Rookie

First name is Ronald, and if not many know where the "J J"came from, not many know where the golfer himself came from. Henry is out of the top 50 and is one of the unknowns charged with justifying the qualification system.

ZACH JOHNSON

Age: 30. World ranking: 40

Caps: Rookie

Best known of the unknowns, this deadly putter can be a main-stay. Fought his way up through the feeder tours and proved he is adept at matchplay with podium finish in California this year. Always smiling, always a threat.

BRETT WETTERICH

Age: 33. World ranking: 65

Caps: Rookie

Becomes first Cup player never to have made a cut in a major, and as a pro of 12 years that is some record. Came through Tour school last year; so anonymous Woods had not met him until last month. Big hitter with nothing to lose.

STEWART CINK

Age: 33. World ranking: 23

Caps: 2. Cup record: 2-4-1

In form and always in vogue, with Lehman the latest captain to be seduced into handing him a wild card. Has safe pair of hands and will be a guardian for rookies. Showed his nerve in taking Tiger to the wire in Akron recently.

SCOTT VERPLANK

Age: 42. World ranking: 34

Caps: 1. Cup record: 2-1-0

Very "European" in having team experience and ability to leave sketchy strokeplay form in locker room. Natural captain's pick - a shovel should US fall into a hole.

Profiles by James Corrigan

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