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Langer to continue playing as normal

Bernhard Langer will not let his Ryder Cup captaincy interfere with his playing career, the German said on Wednesday.

The European captain will compete in his first event since his appointment last week when he plays in the Scandinavian Masters, which begins on Thursday.

"I'm not 100 per cent sure how much of my time will be necessary to be devoted to Ryder Cup issues," said Langer.

"Hopefully I can still focus on my game as well and still have time for my family.

"I don't envisage this taking over my life in the next few months. It's going to be stressful in the last few weeks closer to the Ryder Cup, but I don't think it will take up even 50 per cent of my time in the next 10 months.

"I'm not going to let that happen. I will do some interviews and a visit here or there to the golf course (Oakland Hills), or where we're staying, and get involved in that kind of stuff.

"But it's not going to be something that takes up three days in my week."

The 45-year-old will get an opportunity to put his plans into practice this week when he takes on a batch of Europe's promising youngsters.

Among them are defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Langer's playing-partner for the opening two rounds, home favourite Fredrik Jacobson and England's Luke Donald.

"I've played with Luke in America and know about some of the others, like Justin Rose and Paul Casey," said Langer.

"I definitely expect them contend and expect some or all of them to be on the team if they keep their normal form.

"We need strong players to come through and they are the sort of players who should be on the team."

Florida-based Langer plans to keep an eye on the European Tour events by 'watching every single shot played' on the Golf Channel in the U.S..

Langer also insisted that his captaincy does not mean the end of his playing days.

"I plan to play on the seniors tour, so this is not the end of my career," he said.

"I had a very good four or five months at the end of last year. I think it would be fun to win tournaments again.

"I'm 46 in August and still plan to compete for the next three or four years on the regular tour and then, hopefully, do well on the seniors tour."

In-form Jacobson, fifth in the U.S. Open and sixth in the British Open, bids for his first European Tour win on home soil.

He is joined in the field by last week's Irish Open winner, New Zealander Michael Campbell and fellow Swede Peter Hedblom, runner-up at Portmarnock.


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