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Nick Faldo aiming to make experience count

Multiple major winner Nick Faldo hopes his competitive experience in the United States will be a key factor when he leads Europe at the 2008 Ryder Cup in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Briton, a veteran of 11 Ryder Cups as a player, was appointed captain on Wednesday for the 37th match against the United States, with Ian Woosnam set to take charge for the 2006 clash in Ireland.

"I've spent a lot of my career in America and I've always enjoyed the support of the people and the challenge of competing on the other side of the pond," Faldo, 47, said in a statement.

"I hope my profile and success in the United States will be an advantage to the European team.

"The Ryder Cup never fails to inspire both team members and spectators alike," added the former world number one, who has won nine PGA Tour titles since turning professional in 1976, including a hat-trick of U.S. Masters crowns.

"With 11 previous appearances, I have so many fond memories of my time as a player and am honoured to be joining the list of great names that have captained the European team in the past.

"Having played under five different captains, I have picked up a few tips along the way and hope that I can draw on my own experiences to guide the European team to victory."

The six-times major winner played in his first Ryder Cup at Royal Lytham in 1977, where he won a maximum three points from three matches despite glandular fever.

Paired with Peter Oosterhuis, Faldo beat Ray Floyd and Lou Graham 2&1 in the first-day foursomes and Jack Nicklaus and Floyd 3&1 in the fourballs before winning by a hole against U.S. Masters and British Open champion Tom Watson in the last-day singles.

He went on to end a prolific Ryder Cup career at Valderrama, Spain in 1997 with a record 11 appearances, the most points won (25) and most matches won (23).

Wednesday's announcement that he would lead the European challenge at Valhalla Golf Club in 2008 ranked as one of the proudest moments of his life, he said.

"It is a huge honour and I can't say how excited I am at the prospect of leading the side in the United States.

"The Ryder Cup has always been important to me and I will look forward to planning for that match.

"But, for now, it's Ian's time and I wish him the best for his captaincy," added Faldo, the 21st player and 11th Englishman appointed to take on the U.S. as Ryder Cup captain.

"If the European team can secure a record third straight win at the K Club (in 2006), then that would be fantastic -- it would really set up an historic match at Valhalla."

Europe have won six of the last 10 matches in the biennial competition

The 36th Ryder Cup will be played at the K Club in County Kildare, Ireland from September 22-24, 2006.

 

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