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Bernard Langer questions Nick Faldo's policy

Former Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer questioned Nick Faldo’s judgment on Wednesday in selecting only Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal as his vice-captain.

Faldo, who will captain Europe against the United States at Valhalla next week, has not replaced Irishman Paul McGinley, who resigned as his other vice-captain to try unsuccessfully to play his way on to the team.

Langer, whose team were the first to hand out a nine-point thrashing to the United States in 2004, had Anders Forsbrand as his vice-captain and two assistants in Forsbrand’s fellow-Swede Joakim Haegmann and Dane Thomas Bjorn. Both were former Ryder Cup players.

“I think he (Faldo) is making a mistake by not having somebody with each group,” Langer told reporters on the eve of the Mercedes Benz Championship which he promotes.

“Maybe he feels him and Ollie have plenty of experience to do it, maybe so. But I think once you have the four teams out on the course, I know as a captain I would like to have one person with each group to give me information.

“I can’t be everywhere and I need information, I need to know how they are playing and what’s going on.”

Langer said he would not be telephoning Faldo to give his opinion but urged him to take on someone else in his backroom team and, perhaps, re-hire McGinley.

“Paul has been there a number of times and he would be a great asset for Nick,” added Langer.

Langer at 51 is trying to become the oldest European Tour winner this week. He has been joined by 48-year-old American Ryder Cup veteran Fred Couples.

Couples said the United States would miss the injured Tiger Woods.

“I think with a mediocre Tiger Woods he’s going to lose two and a half points. Obviously there’s another player playing now and if he can do his job and play well and get two and a half points then they are okay,” he said.

“But then there is the leadership of Tiger, everyone wants to be around Tiger, even the European players. They want to play Tiger.

“I would want him on the team but he’s not and I’m sure Azinger (U.S. captain Paul Azinger) lost a lot of sleep when the announcement came that he wasn’t going to be. But he’s got 12 capable players.”


September 11, 2008

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