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Langer considering Ryder Cup captaincy bid

Bernhard Langer is seriously considering making a bid to be named European Ryder Cup captain, possibly in 2004 when the team event takes place in the United States.

``I'll make that decision in the next five or six months. I believe my time as a player on the team is gradually coming to an end - whether that's at (age) 47, 49 or 53, I don't know.,'' said Langer Wednesday, a day before he starts the defense of his title at the three million euro ($2.98 million) Linde German Masters.

The two-time Masters champion would be 47 when the Ryder Cup takes place at Oakland Hills in Detroit, Michigan. His longtime teammate on the European squad, Nick Faldo, has already gone public with his desire to have the job for 2004.

``Nick and I haven't worked out anything between ourselves,'' Langer said. ``But I believe I enjoy similar respect to him among the players and those responsible.''

Langer will be playing for Europe for the 10th time when it faces the United States at the Belfry, England, starting Sept. 27. Faldo has teed off in the event 11 times, with both on the winning teams of 1985, 1987, 1995 and 1997.

The German said he would have to consider his family because of the time dedicated to being captain. Another factor is that his exempt status on the U.S. tour runs out in 2003, which may cut into his time because he will be forced to play more tournaments.

Langer said it might make the most sense for him to be captain when the United States is host because there will probably be sentiment for a native of the host country to hold the job when the Ryder Cup takes place in Ireland, followed by Wales and Scotland.

Langer had dinner with captain Sam Torrance on Tuesday, along with the other nine Ryder Cup players signed up at the Linde Masters. The German said he wasn't worried that some of his teammates have struggled this year, falling far short of the form they had before Sept. 11 led to the event being pushed back 12 months.

``Certainly some of us aren't performing that well, but the Americans have the same problem,'' Langer said. ``This is match play. You can win with a 74 if the other guy has a 75.''

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