Langer shapes team with Montgomerie, Donald

Originally Published: August 29, 2004
ESPN.com news services

NORD-EICHENRIED, Germany -- Colin Montgomerie will play in his seventh Ryder Cup, having been added to the European team Sunday as one of two wild-card selections by captain Bernhard Langer.

Langer also chose 26-year-old Luke Donald, giving England five players on a team that will try to retain the Ryder Cup against the United States on Sept. 17-19 at Oakland Hills outside Detroit.

England's Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and David Howell, and Irishman Paul McGinley secured spots on Europe's Ryder Cup team at the BMW International Open on Sunday. Thomas Levet of France already was a lock to make his first team through the money standings.

Rounding out the team are Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Lee Westwood of England, who earned their spots last week through a world ranking list.

Montgomerie brings experience and leadership to a European team that, like the Americans, has five rookies. He has played in every Ryder Cup since 1991, although this is the first time he made it as a captain's pick.

Montgomerie has been one of the Ryder Cup's best players the past decade, playing on five European winners and never losing in singles.

"When I looked at the golf course at Oakland Hills, I had to come to a decision who would serve the team best, and I came up with Colin Montgomerie and Luke Donald," Langer told a news conference. "They are going to be able to perform at least as well, if not better, than the others.

"I gave no one a nod ahead so the guys would try as hard as they could to the last putt."

Langer took Donald over Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden, who could have earned his way onto the team with an eagle on the final hole of the BMW International; instead he made par to finish tied for sixth. Jacobson was in position to win the tournament, but couldn't sustain his hot start and failed to recover from a bogey on the 15th hole.

"I'm disappointed that I couldn't keep it up on the back nine, but it was a good effort. I think I proved myself," Jacobson said before Langer announced his two picks.

Poulter, known best for his Union Jack pants he wore at the British Open, nearly fell out of the standings when he took a quadruple bogey on the 10th hole. But he finished strong, making an eagle on the 18th to secure his spot.

Donald and Jacobson play most of their golf on the PGA Tour, although Jacobson was higher in the world rankings. Langer said it was a tough decision, but said Donald's experience in the Walker Cup for amateurs was among factors he considered in taking Donald.

On Sunday, Jimenez won his fourth title on the European tour this season, birdieing Nos. 11, 13 and 14 to break open a duel with Levet for a two-stroke victory at 21-under 267. He finished with a 66.

Levet shot 68 for a 19-under 269, while Casey, Montgomerie and Germany's Alex Cejka were another three back at 272.

Montgomerie shot a final-round 68, and challenged for the lead until a bogey at 13 ended his bid.

The U.S. team, finalized after the PGA Championship: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Kenny Perry, David Toms, Chad Campbell, Chris DiMarco, Fred Funk, Chris Riley, Jay Haas and Stewart Cink.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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