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Ryder Cup Stars Head to Madrid

Miguel Angel Jimenez
Three of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup Team will tee off this week in the Open de Madrid at Club de Campo in the Spanish capital city - the middle segment of three outstanding weeks for The European Tour in Spain.

Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, Europe’s talismanic figure during The Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills in Michigan, is joined in the field by Spain’s own hero, Miguel Angel Jiménez, and England’s David Howell.

All three played important roles in the 18 ½ - 9 ½ victory over the United States last night, Jiménez earning an early point in the company of Darren Clarke; Montgomerie securing three points out of four and Howell helping Paul Casey to mount a stirring fightback in the Saturday Fourballs.

Joakim Haeggman, one of Captain Bernhard Langer’s assistants at Oakland Hills, will also play in Madrid along with the winning 2002 Captain, Sam Torrance, and Pierre Fulke and Phillip Price from that successful side.

Ricardo Gonzalez with the 2004 Open de Sevilla trophy
Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez defends the title he won 12 months ago by a single shot from a quartet of players, Casey, Nick Dougherty, Padraig Harrington and Nick O’Hern.

The quality of the field is enhanced by three Major Champions in Paul Lawrie and Sandy Lyle of Scotland as well as Welshman Ian Woosnam while 16 tournament winners on The 2004 European Tour International Schedule have entered.

Jiménez is bidding to win for a fifth time this season at the end of a stunning year in which he captured the Johnnie Walker Classic in January, the Algarve Open de Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos in April, the BMW Asian Open and the BMW International Open in August.

Last week, despite the fatigue of playing eight rounds in four days at the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth Club, the Spaniard took England’s Lee Westwood to the final green before bowing out in a tight semi-final.

South African Trevor Immelman seeks his third victory of 2004 while Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, winner of the recent dunhill links championship at St Andrews, aims for a quick follow up in his bid to reach the top ten on the Volvo Order of Merit.


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