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My Five: Best Ryder Cup Captains

January 19, 2011
Though the newly-selected Jose Maria Olazabal and Davis Love III are well suited to lead their teams, I still hold to the view that Ryder Cup captain is an overrated position in terms of the final outcome. But certain leaders have a bearing and a way with words and people that both relaxes and inspires players. It's projected most importantly not in press conferences or on camera, but in the team room or well chosen one-on-one moments. Here are my top five:
Bernhard Langer

5. Bernhard Langer (2004)

Langer seemed almost invisible during the 18 1/2 to 9 1/2 drubbing of the U.S. at Oakland Hills. He uttered no memorable quotes, was never captured in an enduring photo, and as a teetotaler, missed the raucous Euro after-party. But Langer was indisputably in command, a rock the players trusted and respected for his discipline and good judgment, and to whose easy-to-mock and accented monotone they listened. In contrast to counterpart Hal Sutton, it was an understated, mistake-free performance, much like one of his rounds. Said assistant captain Thomas Bjorn, "Bernhard came into the room at the start of the week and told each and every one of them, 'I want you to play like this, like this, and like this,' and no one asked a question."
David Cannon/Getty Images
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