Lehman to be named as Ryder Cup captain

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The Independent Online

America will salute the reign of a new leader today when Tom Lehman is unveiled as captain for the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland.

America will salute the reign of a new leader today when Tom Lehman is unveiled as captain for the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland. American newspapers reported last night that the 45-year-old, who is unbeaten in singles in his three Ryder Cups, would be introduced at Amelia Island, where the American PGA is holding its 86th annual meeting.

"I'd be honoured if they choose me," Lehman said two weeks ago, adding that he would be ready for the responsibility of guiding an American team that suffered their worst defeat to Europe, 18 1/ 2-9 1/ 2, at Oakland Hills two months ago.

The 1996 Open champion made the Ryder Cup team three straight times, starting in 1995, and was part of the team that rallied from a 10-6 deficit on the final day in 1999 at Brookline. But he was heavily criticised by Europe that day for being among those who charged on to the 17th green when Justin Leonard made the winning putt.

Paul Azinger revealed a fortnight ago that he had turned down the job to focus on his game and media work while others in the frame included Larry Nelson, Mark O'Meara, Fred Couples and Corey Pavin.

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