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Torrance won't stand for Captain in 2004

Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance said Friday he did not wish to be considered for the same role for the 2004 matches against the United States at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan.

The 49-year-old Scot guided Europe to a famous victory over the U.S. by 15-1/2 points to 12-1/2 at The Belfry last week, but believes he would not enjoy the same rapport with the European players in two years' time.

Torrance, who sent out his big guns first in Sunday's last-day singles in what was widely regarded as a tactical masterstroke, added that he wants to focus on the Seniors Tour, for which he qualifies when he turns 50 next August.

"If selected (for 2004), I feel that I would be the sentimental choice rather than the reasonable choice for captaincy," he said in a statement released by his manager on Friday.

"By the time of the next matches, I will have been on the Seniors Tour for almost two years and won't have been playing with the players week in and week out as I did this time.

"Without seeing the guys regularly, I don't think I would have the same rapport and wouldn't necessarily be able to recreate the team atmosphere that was so enjoyed last week.

"It is very tempting, but it wouldn't be right for the team and that, in the end, is the most important thing."

Torrance's decision leaves Welshman Ian Woosnam, his assistant last weekend, and Germany's Bernhard Langer as his likely successors when the European Ryder Cup board makes a final decision in December.

Nick Faldo, a veteran of 11 Ryder Cups but absent this year, said Thursday that he did not want to be considered as he wanted to try to play his way back into the team.

Irishman Padraig Harrington, who was a member of the victorious 12-man European team at The Belfry last week, said Torrance's decision was not unexpected.

"I think that's what he kind of told us at the end of the week, so this has come as no surprise to us," said Harrington, after firing a second successive 66 to take a one-shot lead in the Dunhill Links Championship's second round Friday.

"Obviously the players would have loved to have him as captain again but Sam has given so much over three years and he put a lot into it.

"It took a huge amount from his own golf and, just from a personal point for him, he couldn't give that much again."

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