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Langer dismisses Faldo comments

Bernhard Langer reaffirmed he will drop his captaincy of the European team and play the 2004 Ryder Cup if he qualifies, following criticism by Nick Faldo.

Faldo faulted Langer's willingness on Wednesday to step aside as captain, wondering how the job would be filled in the last months before the event. He criticized the selection process which allowed the step.

``If the captain should qualify, then he has the right to play. It's always been that way,'' Langer said at the Linde German Masters on Thursday.

``Don't we need the best guys to beat the Americans? I'm fully committed to being the captain. If any other situation arises, then it rises, then we'll take it from there.''

Langer pointed out that Mark James was in a similar position in 1999 before leading the Europeans to a narrow loss to the Americans at Brookline, Massachusetts. He had a chance to qualify for the team right up until the deadline at the BMW Open.

Langer was mostly upset at British reporters, who asked him about Faldo's remarks. Both major winners are playing in the 3 million euro ($3.37 million) German Masters. Langer shot a 2-under-par 70, 10 shots off the lead, while Faldo made par.

``I'm pretty upset at you guys, not Nick Faldo,'' Langer said. ``We have one of the biggest events in Europe, a course record today and what are we talking about -- the Ryder Cup.''

Langer said he was angry that the Ryder Cup issue distracted from the tournament he co-hosts with brother Erwin. During Thursday's first round, Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson tied the European Tour's record low score with 60.

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