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Azinger confirmed as US Ryder Cup captain

Published 06/11/2006

Paul Azinger has been named as the USA's Ryder Cup captain for the 2008 event at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky.

His appointment is no surprise as he had been touted as the successor to Tom Lehman for several weeks.

Azinger, the 1993 US PGA champion, has played in four Ryder Cups - the last in 2002 having successfully beaten cancer in his shoulder.

A feisty competitor in his prime, he was just pipped by Nick Faldo for the 1987 Open at Muirfield and involved in heated Ryder Cup matches with Seve Ballesteros in 1989 and 1991.

He will be resuming his rivalry with Faldo, who will lead Europe to Valhalla looking for an historic fourth successive victory.

Under the successive leaderships of Curtis Strange, Hal Sutton and Tom Lehman the Americans have found themselves outplayed by Europe and despite many in the USA claiming the job is a poisoned chalice Azinger has made no secret of his desire for the job.

``It's like everything to gain, nothing to lose now,'' he said previously.

``I think really the key to success in the future is to get the hottest players in there. Somehow you have to come up with a formula that's more current hot players.''

In a break with tradition, Azinger will have four personal picks, instead of the usual two.

The other eight players will qualify via a new points list, which will no longer be determined by money earned.

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