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News and Interviews from The Belfry

Sam Torrance Ryder Cup Captain - The Ryder Cup team get together went very well and was very productive. The wives were there as well and we got some good team spirit going..

The golf was excellent, we played 3 four balls in a better ball competition. Pierre Fulke and Philip Price won by one shot at 10 under par. I was able to juggle with the pairings, and really Bernhard and Colin are now so experienced that they are able to play with any one of the other players.

At dinner we spoke about the golf course and the pairings. I'd put Colin with Thomas Bjorn and Langer with Fasth, they shot 9 under and combined really well. I suppose McGinley and Harrington are cast in stone, but if one got tired then I can certainly use the other one somewhere else.

It was a great opportunity to play the course and whilst we'll certainly get together before the Ryder Cup I don't think we will have the chance to play together again like this before the Ryder Cup. It's a very good exercise and the players like it - its very productive.

We were able to make some plans on how we will have the course set up. The Belfry is in great shape and I totally disagree with those who say there are only 2 good holes - believe me there are 18 - I've always enjoyed playing here even when there were no trees. The rough will be tougher in September but the course will be in magnificent shape.

I'm concerned at the speed of play we saw in the Seve Trophy, we can't have matches taking nearly 6 hours and Andy Mcfee John Paramor have said they want to discuss this with me. Its something we have to address, although there is nothing in the captain's agreement about speed of play.

I've certainly thought of asking Alex Ferguson or Sven-Goran Eriksson to come and speak to the players and we may develop this idea - All the players seemed to think it could be a good idea. The only ones not there last night were Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik - they are both in the States and its a long way to come to dinner.

I particularly asked Mark James to come to the meeting he was an excellent captain and is very much a part of my back room team along with Ian Woosnam the Vice Captain, and Joakim Haegmann.

At the end of the day my wife has given me the best advice - what does she say? Oh millions of things - what doesn't she say - Suzanne is great, she's my buffer and I test her out on anything I might come up with. The wives have a part to play and she's their captain..
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Reteif Goosen - The Belfry is a great course and its in great shape - the work put into preparation for last year's Ryder Cup (that didn't happen) has really paid off, and with the warm weather in April there has been a lot of growth. Its tough but fair and I'm looking forward to playing this week. My form is pretty good, I took last week off and my game is coming back strongly. The field is very strong for this week's tournament - but wherever you play now the field is strong the competition is really tough..

Colin Montgomerie - The course is in great shape and I played well today in the Pro-Am without a single bogey. I'm here now to play 4 events in Europe before the US Open and I'm looking forward to playing them.

I've always said that 4 x 68's will usually win but believe me there are now so many players who can compete and win - the competition is really tough out there.

The Ryder cup get together was excellent - I played with Thomas Bjorn but unlike the early Cup matches I played, I think Bernhard and I are experienced enough to play well with anyone in the team. Sam calls the shots and I'm just happy to be one of the team and being a team player.

It was excellent to have Mark James there as well - He was a fantastic captain last time - we all discussed how we might ask for the course to be set up to give us the maximum home advantage.

It was sad to part with Alistair after 10 years of working together. It certainly wasn't a sudden decision and there was no one incident that made up my mind. I've been feeling over the past few months that I wasn't getting exactly what I wanted from the partnership, and I decided that the time had come to make a break. As far as I'm concerned Alistair is a good friend, and I don't want that to change.

I'm working this week with Robert Karlson's regular caddy, as Robert is having the week off, but I'll take some time to decide who to take on as a regular. The caddy has a very important part to play and its very important to have the right man on the bag.

Alistair and I have had some great times and the last 9 holes at Valderrama when I was winning my 7th Order of Merit was an outstanding example of the relationship that can exist between player and caddy. Ten years in sport is a long time and its been a very special relationship, but there comes a time to move on.

Henrik Stenson - Last year's winner - I came back to the Belfry on Sunday evening and it brought back to me how important that win had been.

After I won I noticed back home in Sweden that a lot of people wanted a piece of me. It was nice but it made me a bit unfocused and my form has not been as good as I would have liked.

I've been working with Peter Cowan since December and I feel more confident about my game. Winning such an important event against such a strong field meant a great deal to me. It was a big breakthrough in my career and gave me a 2 year exemption on the Tour which is very important. I'm looking forward immensely to playing here again this week.


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