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Faldo and Parnevik complete the European Ryder Cup team

Crans Sur Sierra, Switzerland, 4th September - Nick Faldo of England and Jasper Parnevik of Sweden have been chosen by European Ryder Cup team captain, Seve Ballesteros as his two wild cards. Faldo will be making a record 11th Ryder Cup appearance.

The remainder of the European team is comprised of Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, Germany's Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam of Wales, Sweden's Per-Ulrik Johansson, Lee Westwood of England, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Costantino Rocca of Italy and Spain's Olazabal and Ignacio Garrido.

Ballesteros said he thought the 1997 team was the "best we have ever had". He added, "I thought it would take a long time before Europe had a better team than 1987 at Muirfield Village, but this is by far a better team. I am not going to Valderrama as captain to defend the Ryder Cup. I will be going there convinced I can win it."

It has now been revealed that Jose Maria Olazabal was told by Seve two weeks ago that he would be part of the team. Also at that time Faldo has been spoken to by Ballesterso and told that he would be included. Parnevik learnt on Tuesday evening that he would be a wild card after Martin had been removed from the team.

Parnevik said "I am thrilled, and relieved at the same time."

"Even though I have been trying not to think about it, it has been at the back of my mind for a long time. It's a big honour to have Seve telephone you to tell you are needed for the team."

Parnevik is expected be in Europe next week to defend his Lancome Trophy title in Paris, and then go to Valderrama for some early practice before the team assembles.

The selection of Faldo and Parnevik who both play mostly on the US PGA Tour were practically guaranteed on Tuesday when Miguel Angel Martin was replaced by Olazabal, who finished in 11th place in the points table.

Martin has not played competitively since mid-July due to a wrist injury and he refused the European Ryder Cup Committee's request to prove his fitness by playing 18 holes Wednesday at Valderrama. When Martin refused, he was replaced on the team by Olazabal.

"The Ryder Cup Committee and the captain have agreed that currently there is an indisputable presumption that even if Miguel Angel was fit to play in the matches, which is in doubt, that he cannot be competitive at Ryder Cup level," spokesman Mitchell Platts said today. "The proposal of Miguel Angel playing 18 holes on Wednesday was intended to give him every opportunity of countering this presumption."

Martin, who had surgery on the wrist in August, said he believed he would be ready to play when the matches begin and said Wednesday he would go to court if necessary to regain his place on the team. He called Ballesteros' demand that he test his wrist by playing 18 holes Tuesday "barbarous."

Ballesteros reacted with some words of his own.

"He (Martin) was not welcome before -- do you think he will be welcome now?" Ballesteros said just hours before announcing his two picks.

"That little man? He can't stop the Ryder Cup. Lawyers can only do so much. He's like a machine-gunner shooting in all directions. He is trying to be a hero for a week. We would be out of our minds to change the decision. "He has only been thinking of himself.."

The U.S. team consists of Tiger Woods, Justin Leonard, Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Jeff Maggert, Mark O'Meara, Scott Hoch, Brad Faxon, Fred Couples and Lee Janzen. Couples and Janzen were both selected by captain Tom Kite