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Langer rules out a playing role in Ryder Cup

European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer has ruled out any chance of playing his way on to this year's team, according to his manager and brother Erwin.

The 46-year-old German had previously indicated he would consider playing if he automatically qualified for the 12-man lineup, but is now fully committed to being captain for the first time.

"He does not intend to play at all," Erwin Langer told Reuters on Wednesday. "Bernhard is fully committed as a captain, and in fact wants to be a perfect Ryder Cup captain.

"This all goes back to last year's German Masters when things got a little bit mixed up.

"Bernhard was criticised by Nick Faldo for leaving the captaincy issue up in the air and (European Tour executive director) Ken Schofield asked the question: 'What happens if he (Langer) qualifies as number two or three?'.

In the build-up to last September's German Masters, Bernhard Langer insisted he still had a right to play at the Ryder Cup if he was good enough for the team.

"It has always been this way," he said. "If a captain qualifies, he should have the option to play. What would people say if I were number one qualifier and didn't play?"

Although Langer has made an impressive start this year on the U.S. PGA Tour, placing eighth at the Bob Hope Classic and sharing 27th at the Phoenix Open on Sunday, he hinted last week that his focus had switched fully to the Ryder Cup captaincy.

"I've pretty much made up my mind that I would not play, no matter what," he told reporters at the TPC at Scottsdale. "It's so much work and so much effort that goes into the Cup, and there's so much of a personal touch, as well.

"I've thought already a lot and I don't want to give that up, so I'm going to be a captain."

The 2004 Ryder Cup will take place between holders Europe and the United States at Oakland Hills Country Club in Detroit, Michigan from September 26-28.

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