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Profiles of the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup team

By Staff

Ryder Cup LogoLed by captain Tom Lehman, the U.S. team enters the 36th Ryder Cup Matches in Ireland with the three top-ranked players in the world. It also has a few rookies, though. Here's the lineup that will try to wrest the Ryder Cup from the European squad at the K Club:


Tiger Woods

Age: 30
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 4
Best 2006 performances: Won the Buick Invitational, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the Ford Championship at Doral, the British Open, the Buick Open, the PGA Championship and the Deutsche Bank Championship
Fast facts: First featured in Golf Digest at age 5 and widely hailed as the greatest golfer ever, Woods is coming off a stellar season that saw him win two majors and five straight events.

Jim Furyk

Age: 36
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 4
Best 2006 performances: Won the Wachovia Championship and the Canadian Open; finished second at the Verizon Heritage, Buick Open, Mercedes Championships and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
Fast facts: The world No. 2 should have a lot of confidence in Ireland after his recent win at the Canadian Open. Furyk turned pro in 1992. His father, Mike, has been his only swing coach.

Phil Mickelson

Age: 36
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 5
Best 2006 performances: Won the BellSouth Classic and the Masters; tied for second at the U.S. Open Championship
Bio: Since winning his first major, the 2004 Masters, Mickelson has emerged as Woods' top PGA Tour rival. The Tour's third-ranked player started hitting golf balls at 18 and turned pro in 1992.




Chad Campbell

Age: 32
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Best 2006 performances: Won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic; tied for second at the Sony Open; tied for third at the Masters Fast facts: Campbell started 2006 strong with a second-place finish at the Sony Open and a win the next week at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. A pro since 1996, he has had three other top-5 finishes this year.

David Toms

Age: 39
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 2
Best 2006 performances: Won the Sony Open in Hawaii; tied for second at the Ford Championship at Doral
Fast facts: Ranked ninth on the tour this year, Toms had a bit of scare last year when he collapsed at the 84 Lumber Classic. He was diagnosed with a rapid heart rate and underwent corrective surgery. Fully recovered, he's shown good form in the run-up to the Ryder Cup.

Chris DiMarco

Age: 37
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Best 2006 performances: Won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship; finished second at the British Open
Fast facts: The American squad is expected to get a huge boost from DiMarco's fierce competitiveness. He has also shown flashes of brilliance this year, finishing second to Tiger Woods at the British Open.

Vaughn Taylor

Age: 30
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: none
Best 2006 performances: Tied for third at Verizon Heritage
Fast facts: Taylor grew up in Augusta, Ga., home of the Masters. He has had two tour wins since the last Ryder Cup and six top-10 finishes this year.




J.J. Henry

Age: 31
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: none
Best 2006 performances: Won the Buick Championship; finished sixth at the Deutsche Bank Championship
Bio: Henry notched his first Tour win this year, at the Buick Championship in Connecticut, so he should be plenty confident going into the Ryder Cup. He turned pro in 1998.

Zach Johnson

Age: 30
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: none
Best 2006 performances: Tied for second at the BellSouth Classic and the Memorial Tournament
Fast facts: In 2004 Johnson became the second player in Tour history to make earn than $2 million in his rookie season. He won the BellSouth Classic that year and has had nine top-10 finishes since.

 
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