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Langer brings back Ryder Cup to Europe

Bernhard Langer kept his promise.

The European Ryder Cup captain said a week ago that he would bring the trophy back with him. On Monday, Langer stepped off a flight from Detroit with the 19-inch Ryder Cup in hand.

Speaking at London's Heathrow airport, Langer said he was leaning toward stepping down as captain after one match -- as Seve Ballestersos, Mark James and Sam Torrance have done.

``I think I'm going to stick to what I said before, which is that I'll only do this once and I think it's only fair to give the other guys a chance,'' he said.

``We set out a week ago to try to take the cup and we didn't just defend it, we actually had an overwhelming victory,'' he added.

``We beat them on Friday, we beat them on Saturday and we beat them in the singles. We just had the most awesome week you can imagine.''

British bookmakers William Hill immediately made Nick Faldo a 9-4 favorite to succeed Langer as captain with Welshman Ian Woosnam 3-1 and Colin Montgomerie 5-1.

Montgomerie, the backbone of Europe's 18 1/2-9 1/2 landslide over the United States, said he would wait before deciding if he'll try to play in the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club, west of Dublin.

``It depends if I can help the team,'' Montgomerie said at Heathrow.

``I'm going to make my mind up over the Christmas period. Retiring right now from competition might seem a bit premature.''

The Europeans overwhelmed the Americans on the golf course, and Langer said his team won over the pro-American Oakland Hills' fans with charm.

``I played in 10 Ryder Cups and I know how bad the crowd can get,'' said Langer, who lives in the United States.

``I think we did a great thing on the practice days. I told the guys to sign autographs. We won the crowd over. There were several times the Americans were booed on the practice days because they didn't sign autographs as much as we did.''

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