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RYDER CUP BLOG

FROM OUR REPORTERS AT THE K CLUB, IRELAND

Woosie train hits Bjorn buffers

  • Iain Carter - Radio Five Live golf correspondent
  • 5 Sep 06, 02:54 PM

Iain_carter55x55.jpgCRANS-SUR-SIERRE - Having decided on taking the train from the BMW International in Munich to Crans-sur-Sierre, I was looking forward to a nice relaxing journey through the Alps to this idyllic destination.

But perhaps an incident, as we changed trains at Karlsruhe station, should have been taken as an omen that the peace would soon be shattered.

We needed to change platforms. Heavily laden reporters, players and caddies were descending on an escalator behind a ceremonially dressed African gentleman.

He appeared to have his lifetime possessions stacked high and wide on an airport-style trolley.

All seemed to be progressing nicely until he reached the bottom of the staircase whereupon his luggage wedged itself against the moving handrail.

He and his trolley came to an abrupt halt. Cases spilled and the packed escalator continued relentlessly.

A dangerous pile up was threatening, panic was rising. It was only a matter of seconds but it seemed an eternity before the trolley was freed and we all tumbled onto the platform relieved to be in one piece.

The calm of the journey had gone and an hour later my mobile sounded to confirm the end of relaxation for the day.

Thomas Bjorn’s astonishing attack on Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam had become public knowledge.

During one station stop I had to fire off a report for Five Live. It was a huge story, undoubtedly altering the equilibrium of the build-up to the match.

The following morning we arrived at the picturesque course which will stage the European Masters.

Sergio Garcia was out on the course playing a practice round with the player we’d come to see, Michelle Wie.

And while we wanted to know what he thinks of the 16-year-old Hawaiian sensation, more importantly we wanted his reaction to Bjorn’s blow up.

Garcia is siding with Woosnam. He has no complaints with the captain’s picks and reckons Thomas “will get over it”.

That will take some time, there’s little sign of anyone hitting the stop button on this controversy at the moment.

(Shortly after Iain filed his latest blog entry Thomas Bjorn issued an apology).


Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 03:39 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Paul Savage wrote:

This is a team event, and the captain's wild card picks are his prerogative based on his judgement as to who would be best for the team, rather than on the qualifying rules. Some big names from the US Tour spectacularly failed to get their head around the idea of team last time, and judging by Bjorn's reaction, Woosnam got it just right

  • 2.
  • At 03:39 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Jeff wrote:

I can understand Bjorn being upset but the way he is acting is very selfish, he should be wishing the guys all the best. Its probably best that he is not in the team as he clearly has a problem respecting the captains decisions, maybe he feels that he should have been the captain?

  • 3.
  • At 03:46 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • d carroll wrote:

Hope woosnam dosen't turn into another James on how he captain's the side!!!

  • 4.
  • At 03:48 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Jon Morton wrote:

Understandable that Bjorn would vent his frustration in the manner he did due to his outranking of Westwood in almost every category. However I believe that Woosnam has made the right decision and the team will not be effected. The Ryder cup, with perhaps the exception of the four majors, is the highlight of a golfer’s career, to miss out will always be very hard to swallow...
Thomas has done the right thing by backing the team, in the aftermath of his outburst. European victory is all that should be focused on at present.

  • 5.
  • At 03:55 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Mark Traynor wrote:

Bjorn has just sold his self-respect and integrity to the World. I'm with Woosie on this one. Somebody was always going to be disapointed so how could the Captain win. Bring home the bacon Europe, Bjorn can make the sandwiches!

  • 6.
  • At 04:09 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

it seems a bit childish of Thomas really. Ian had to pick who he thinks will do best at the Ryder Cup and he has done this. I agree with his choices. Thomas should apologise

  • 7.
  • At 04:22 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Rodney Doran wrote:

It is astonishing that someone of Bjorn's experience does not understand the idea of the captain having a choice.

  • 8.
  • At 04:23 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • carl lindgreen wrote:

It's about time Bjorn grew up..Throwing his dollies out of the pram in this fashion will endear him to no-one. To get so personal about Woosie's decision shows his immaturity. If he wanted so much to be a part of this Ryder Cup team, why didn't he put more effort into qualifying as a right?

  • 9.
  • At 04:24 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Tony Lennard wrote:

Is Paul Broadhurst spitting his dummy? Lee Westwood's Ryder Cup record speaks for itself. Get over it Thomas.

  • 10.
  • At 04:27 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • David Shakesby wrote:

I agree with Woosnam's decision and Bjorn shouldn't have moaned about it - it smacks of sour grapes. What Woosnam said was that he took into account both players' rankings but gave the spot to Westwood because of his exceptional record in the Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup is defined by team play, and not which individuals are ranked higher, which is something the Americans haven't understood as is starkly underlined by the last two successful European teams.

Also Montgomery is arguably the greatest European Ryder Cup player of recent times - he has been so influential in recent European victories, notwithstanding that his tour form has often lagged far behind, hence his inclusion in the past as a wildcard. The wildcards are there to allow the captain to pick the two players that he thinks can have the biggest impact notwithstanding that they miss out on a spot through their rankings and that's why Westwood is playing and not Bjorn.

  • 11.
  • At 04:31 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Miles Dowsett wrote:

Thomas Bjorn's public attacks on Ian Woosnam are unjustified and unwelcoming, the only benefit of them is to Tom Lehman and the rest of the American team.

Firstly Bjorn didn't qualify for the team, he is not the captain, nor is part of Ian Woosnam's support network - he simply has nothing more to do with the team other than the fact that he is member of the European Tour.

The fact he is so outspoken about a matter that has little to do with him further justifies Woosnam's decision to exclude him from the team. If this is how he responds to things not going his own way, how would he handle things in the team room, with his playing partners or on the golf course in the face of adversity?

Ian Woosnam need say no more. This is the first insight of hopefully many of Ian Woosnam, the master man-manager.

  • 12.
  • At 04:32 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Neil wrote:

I think Bjorn has really just proved the wisdom of Woosnam's Wild Card picks. I can't see how someone who fails to get in on merit AND has a bad team attitude can possibly expect to get in.

  • 13.
  • At 04:33 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Ian wrote:

Seems Thomas has decided discretion is the better part of valour after the other players have all backed Woosie !

  • 14.
  • At 04:43 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Phil wrote:

Thomas is right, a sympathy vote and his pal are not the way I would expect a true Captain to try and keep the Ryder Cup. I hope I'm wrong but TL must be having a little smile as the Euro team isn't being picked for up to the minute golfing standards, but then again Monty last time wasn't such a bad pick.

The pressure on these two guys is huge now.

  • 15.
  • At 04:45 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • stephen wrote:

As Elton John said.... the hardest word to say is 'sorry'.

Congratulations Thomas. Hero to zero to Hero!!

  • 16.
  • At 04:45 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • David Grove wrote:

Leading up to the weekend all I read was its a straight pick between Bjorn & Westwood, so the Captain picks Westwood and spells out his reasons, Bjorn must agree that going to a course that you have won twice before is a massive factor for picking Westwood.

I'm not surprised Thomas has quickly apoligised, sounds like a spur of the moment emotional outburst and out of character for him, it shows how important the Ryder cup is to all the players, Thomas is the biggest name not in the team, its natural he'll be the most dissapointed.

  • 17.
  • At 04:49 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Don Noble wrote:

Congratulations to Thomas on his apology. Hopefully The Captain will accept it & invite him to help bolster team spirit.

All the European qualified tour players are represented by the chosen 12 & they should all unite together.

  • 18.
  • At 04:54 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

Has anybody else ever said anything they regret? Without doubt, Thomas spoke in the heat of the moment and although I can't agree with what he said, it demonstarted a passionate guy who desperately wants Europe to keep the trophy - as indeed we all do!!!!

  • 19.
  • At 05:06 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Matt King wrote:

I am with Woosie...unless I misunderstood 'Captains Picks' for player who is next to qualify must automatically get selected and no one else....

  • 20.
  • At 05:07 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Eds wrote:

I feel for Thomas. I think Woosie has made the right decision but the way he's gone about it was always going to lead to a reaction like this from someone. Surely a key part of being the captain is to communicate with your team.

If he had started talking to Thomas and Lee a week or so ago this whole episode could have been avioded. I was shocked to hear that he hasn't spoken to some of the guys in the team yet. This has been the problem with some of the US teams in the past.

Anyway, when all is said and done, we have the strongest European team I can remember and I can't wait.

  • 21.
  • At 05:08 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Kenneth wrote:

I believe Thomas has apologized and that is the end of the story really.

Now on to the Ryder Cup :)

  • 22.
  • At 05:09 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Dave wrote:
  • 23.
  • At 05:23 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • AndyS wrote:

Bjorn is right to be upset and dissapointed. Golf is an individual sport, and Bjorn is streets ahead of Westwood at the moment. The Ryder cup is very important to any player, and from my perspective the Woosnams decisions seem unjust and will force alot of pressure onto Westwood now.

  • 24.
  • At 05:38 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Alan Railton wrote:

This situation is all about one of the major problems in life, business and politics....poor communications.

Woosie as Captain has to be respected and made a logical choice BUT this issue is now in the press because it appears that Woosie did not communicate well with the three or four people who were in contention for the last place. If it really is true that he did not speak to Bjorn over the past couple of weeks then that is poor management. Woosie realises that Westwood probably fits in slightly better than Thomas with the make up of the team but he certainly could have avoided this unecessary bad press with better handling of the situation.

I hope the press will now drop the issue and get behind the team and I am sure Thomas will do the same.

  • 25.
  • At 06:15 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • John Cremin wrote:

It was a heat of the moment outburst when emotions were running high, lets forget it now that he has apologised.
What I'm more worried about is Woosnam's approach to the captaincy. He has not even spoken to some of his players yet and chose to ignore Europe's most recent captain for advice. Instead, it has been Tom Lehman speaking to Bernhard Langer. It seems to me Woosnam has a communication problem which could be disastrous. This communication problem is probably to blame for Bjorn's outburst. Woosnam should have been speaking to all the guys in the hunt over the past few weeks.

  • 26.
  • At 06:38 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Andy W wrote:

If, as reported, Bjorn only learned about his exclusion from the team from a TV report, then he has every right to be a tad miffed. It not only shows poor manners but also extremely poor man management skills on the part of Woosnam. Let's all hope that this is a 'one off' and he learns from this mistake.
As far as the team is concerned, I am not convinced that Westwoods wins on the course are sufficient reason to include him over a player who is so obviously, this season at least, his superior in all aspects of the game. I can only hope that I am proved wrong and that the European team triumph once again.

  • 27.
  • At 06:51 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Ernie wrote:

I think it should all be forgotten because clearly this only benefits the Americans! Also, I think Langer should have kept his gob shut! Woosnam is in close contact with Bernard Gallacher and others, he does not need to contact every single previous Ryder Cup captain! I am more angry with Langer and Monty for butting his nose into Olazabal's business! Bjorn was pissed off and said some bad things it can happen! Langer and Monty have no excuse!

  • 28.
  • At 07:50 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Gareth wrote:

Why did any of this get into the press? It sounds as if Bjorn had already expressed his feelings privatley to Woosnam. Venting on his website has, and will, cost him dearly long after this Ryder Cup has been won or lost.

  • 29.
  • At 07:55 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • peter campbell wrote:

Whilst I in no way defend the tone of Bjorns comments,please explain why;
1.Woosnam did not speak to possibly the greatest European captain we have had(eg BL) about what you need to do to succeed.
2.Woosnam did not have coaching about 'personal projection' before his press conference,given his stated insecurity about this aspect of captaincy and the importance of fist impressions.
3.Woosnam did not ring all his potential combatants a week ot two before to expalin the magnitude of the decision,the importance of their contribution etc etc

  • 30.
  • At 08:02 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Charles Stewart wrote:

AndyS.

Golf is indeed an individual sport, but the Ryder Cup is Match Play and a Team Sport.

Woosie's Captains Picks reflect that understanding.

Also the outburst by Bjorn, while unserstandable has now cost him a hefty fine by the European Tour.

The Old addage 'if one cannot say anything good about a person, it is wiser to say nothing at all' applies here.

  • 31.
  • At 10:11 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Liam wrote:

Woosnam picked Westwood becuase he's British - Bjorn has no reason to apologise - he is clearly the better player.

Woosnam was an obvious train wreck choice as Ryder Cup captain and unfortunately Europe will lose the Ryder cup because of him.

  • 32.
  • At 11:15 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Roger Clarke wrote:

Thomas Bjorn was wrong to make the outburst and right to apologise. Lets hope that is the end of this.
My concern lies with how the announcement was handled. Has Woosnam received no coaching from the European Tour? Is there nobody advising him on how these issues should be handled? Are there not notes on how to handle the job of Captain? If not it all seems very unprofessional.Woosie was a great golfer but that does@nt mean he's a great manager! Help him somebody!

  • 33.
  • At 11:53 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Asger wrote:

One change I would like to see - and which I haven't seen anyone suggest yet - is to move the announcement of the Wild Cards one day, so that it takes place on the Monday after the last qualifying tournament.

That'a what's the americans do, and with good reason. Who remembers who won the tournament last weekend? Very few remembers. And Woosnam would have another day to consider his picks, so he doesn't have to make up his minds 10 minutes before the press conference, as he said he did (but which may not be true).

With regard to the picks - when you look at the whole thing from the continent, it's obvious that Woosnam doesn't read the continental papers (they're not in English!), and he's more under influence from the British/Irish press. And of course they want him to pick more British/Irish players.

Now, I think if you look at the top-30 of the money list, you'll find more British/Irish players than continental players - but still. The Ryder Cup has been staged once on the continent and we have had only two continental captains (both winning). Is it that strange that we here on the continent feel that we are the stepchildren in this Ryder familily?

  • 34.
  • At 12:14 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • kris wrote:

Dear Oh Dear
How many folks are going to jump on the bandwagon of " Ian Woosnam has no man manaagemnt skills etc. etc. etc.

Fact: Ian was the World Number one for 50 consecutive weeks at a time when Seve, Faldo, Olazabal, Norman et al were at the top of the game. Ian has been selected by a committee of his peers for the position, having already been Vice Captain to Sam Torrance's winning team
Ian is a farmers son from Shropshire and as such does not have some of the pretentious qualities that some of the above posts seem to call for
Ian has been and remains a very popular player on the European and World Tour.

I sense that some of the rather strong disapproval listed is from Golf fans who would prefer their " Favourite Player" to be the Capatain .

I am a golf fan and will support Woosie and his band of 12 to the maximum during the cup, it is about time some of the doom and gloom merchants above did the same.

  • 35.
  • At 02:02 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Laros De La Rosa wrote:

Must have been difficult for you on the escalator, especially behind an African gentleman. My sympathies. And a person of colour as best golfer in the world. You must be devastated.

  • 36.
  • At 03:52 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

There appears to be a distinct lack of leadership quality. Essentially if the pick had been handled correctly (made in good time and announced after a proper conversation) it would have been unlikely to have resulted in the outburst. It is easy to critisise Thomas, but you were not on the end of a seemingly unfair decision without proper explanation.

As leadership is such an important part of the Cup and the leader has proved incompetent, I now fear for the European Team.

  • 37.
  • At 06:48 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Johnny Walker wrote:

Bjorn wears his heart on his sleeve, to most of these guys the Ryder Cup is the greatest event they get to play in. Ok he blew up big style - he is that kind of guy, but he has sorted it out and saved his face.
Sport needs characters like him, this is why over the years he will provide some fantastic viewing, i am sure - some blow ups and some awseome stuff no doubt.
Just read Jay Townsends comments about Carl Petterson - he has a good point, that guy has got some serious game.

  • 38.
  • At 08:25 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Garry wrote:

Sad really, even the apology.

10 golfing super-professionals are self selected following performance throughout the qualifying period. 2 superb golfers who FAIL in the qualifying period are picked by the captain only, so there will be a handful who are passed over, and of course disappointed. Bjorn is the only one from those failing to make the team on their own golfing merits to really shows his true colours and lack of professionalism, when the millionaire starts whining and throwing very public and personal insults at Woosie. He's lost the plot (we know he's lost his bottle) and my (and I'm sure others) respect for sure.

Now for the "gentlemen's" game to entertain us. Come on Europe!

  • 39.
  • At 08:32 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Nick Wheatley wrote:

Does anyone have a comment on Michelle Wie's comments that she wants to play in the Ryder Cup one day? I have just about had enough of this girl I would have no problem if Annika wanted to further herself with the challenge of the Mens tour as she has dominated for a period of time. Michelle Wie has won nothing quite obviously doesn't understand the rules of the game surely her advisors should have a quiet word rather than thinkong of the almighty buck certainly until she can/or ever will dominate the LPGA.

  • 40.
  • At 08:50 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Jon wrote:

Thomas Bjorn is understandably aggrieved at not making the team but his comments were not appropriate for someone who has previously played a supporting role to Langer in a Ryder Cup.

The entire point of the Captain's pick is to allow players who may have missed part of the season through injury or who suffered a loss of form early on in the season, to be brought into the team based on current form. This is the case with Westwood. Woosie (somewhat inappropriately) cited LW's performances 5 years ago at the K Club as instrumental in his decision, but simply based on the last 3 months, LW has earned over twice the money of TB, with recent impressive performances at the USPGA and the BMW International.

I think most people would also feel that the 12 players in the European team comprise the strongest selection available. Let's not forget that LW has never lost a match at the Ryder Cup.

  • 41.
  • At 08:59 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

"Woosnam was an obvious train wreck choice as Ryder Cup captain and unfortunately Europe will lose the Ryder cup because of him."

You might well be right, but, so early in his tenure at least let him screw it up and lose the cup before you tell us all 'I told you so' - I thought only my ex-wife was omnipotent.


  • 42.
  • At 09:13 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Martin Elven wrote:

Personally I can see both sides of the situation, and as a non golfer, I can only apply two footballing analogies.

In 1966, Sir Alf Ramsey picked Jack Charlton for his world cup team. When Jack asked why he was selected over several players who were better than him, Sir Alf replied that it wasn't about who was better but about who fitted best into the team structure.

Secondly, a manager whose name escapes me at present was once asked his thoughts about a players outburst upon being dropped from the team. He replied that any player who was happy about being dropped was not worthy of being in the squad.

  • 43.
  • At 09:32 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Martin Bell wrote:

Seems most of the comments have missed the point with the exception of Peter Campbell. Whilst Bjorn is obviously upset at not being picked it is more the manner of how he, and the world ws told.
Woosnam is a poor communicator. How is he going to cope with giving press conferences each day if he can't talk to past captains, players etc.
Hopefully we will retain the cup despite Europe's captains shortcomings.

  • 44.
  • At 10:02 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Sarah wrote:

I heartily agree with Nick Wheatley - I've had enough of Michelle Wie as well. When she has established herself on the women's tour - on both sides of the Atlantic - then maybe she can take on the men. All she seems to be doing is chasing a quick buck rather than concentrating on learning the rules (and not sacking her experienced caddy as if to blame him for her transgressions) and winning a few tournaments. She should look to Annika Sorenstam as her role model - a fantastic golfer who played just once on the PGA Tour (a sponsor's publicity stunt) and realised it was not for her. She has enjoyed the competition of a few Skins games with the men but that is more for fun and certainly not serious. Michelle needs to knuckle down and start concentrating on beating the rest of the LPGA and LET players and establishing herself as World No 1 - although I doubt she will ever emulate Annika.

  • 45.
  • At 10:11 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Jonesy wrote:

Woosie did talk to past Captains MB.

Just that he chose to talk to James and Torrance and not Langer. Fully understandable - he is closer to them.

He is entitled to do it his way and he is well qualified to do the job.

Bjorn has been a disgarce. I did not hear Davis Love coming out with all this claptrap when he was not picked by Lehman.

The Ryder Cup has a qualifying criteria, and if a player doesn't make it - then that is your chance gone. If then one is lucky enough to gain a wild card pick, then fair enough.
Bjorn had his chance on the golf course and failed.

  • 47.
  • At 10:35 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Jim McMillan wrote:

Woosies choice. Thats it - right or wrong and no one will ever be able to judge objectively.
A team event where the team comes first. Imagine if Bjorn had a tantrum because he was left out of the 4 balls. Tantrums in any professional sport are unacceptable.

  • 48.
  • At 10:55 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • George Lyall wrote:

I've read all the comments about the selection and can understand Thomas Bjorn's frustration and hurt at not being picked. That aside however, can someone tell me about the rules for substitutes should this be necessary through illness/injury or some other unforseen event/mishap. Firstly are they allowed and if so are potential substitutes/reserves named now or at some time prior to the event? Has this happened at any previous Ryder Cups?

  • 49.
  • At 11:52 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Eds wrote:

Michelle Wie in the Ryder Cup? Get outta here! What a joke. If she qualifies as one of the top ten players in the US, she deserves to play but this will never happen. Ever. It reminds me of when Serena Williams was playing outrageous tennis and people were talking about her taking on the men. McEnroe said she wouldn't get into the top 200 of the men's rankings. Michelle is a real talent and i hope she doesn't continue with all these PR gimicks. She needs to knuckle down and win some LPGA tour events.

Let's lift the spirit a little in this forum shall we? We're only a couple of weeks away from the Ryder Cup, we should all be brimming with excitment. What is your favourite Ryder Cup moment? That should get us in the mood.

  • 50.
  • At 12:28 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

Have to say, playing team golf at amateur level you always get some not happy with the picks. I have been one of them left upset before today..what do you do? you go and wipe the floor with them at the next tournament and try not to smirk!!!

  • 51.
  • At 01:00 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • david linehan wrote:

Much of what Thomas Bjorn said was correct. I have read many articles in the least few weeks commenting on how little contact Ian Woosnam has had with team members. In contrast to the Americans, the first time the team will meet up is on the Monday of the event. This smacks of poor leadership and complacency.
His choice of Lee Westwood should have surprised nobody. His is biased towards 'British' players as demonstrated by his backroom team of Peter Baker, Sandy Lyle and DJ Russell! This is a European team, not a UK team!
I hope the team continue the winning run, but I fear the consequences of a repeat of Mark James poor captaincy of 1999.

  • 52.
  • At 01:13 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Peter D wrote:

I think its hilarious that Bjorn has the audacity to question the selections. Woosnam did not have a list of 5 players to pick from, he could pck absolutely anyone he wanted, did Woosnam ever mention Bjorn as a potential pick???

In my view there were a lot of players in with a shout, Jiminez wasnt even mentioned, Petterson is as worthy as Bjorn, Broadhurst, Edfors etc etc. There was no justification for his comments and he has slightly redeemed himself with the apology.

My tickets arrived last week,fingers crossed that the weather behaves itself over the weekend and also for another Europe win!!!

  • 53.
  • At 01:47 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • imac wrote:

Bjorn has done the European team a disservice by putting extra pressure on Westwood and making Woosnam's suitability as captain a big talking point. He has soured the atmosphere when all involved should really be looking forward to taking part. If this is his reaction to the captain's picks, you wonder what he must be like to manage in a team environment.

  • 54.
  • At 01:59 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Ian Bramley wrote:

All the players knew about the qualifying requirements to obtain a place in the European Ryder cup team prior to September last year, if Bjorn had wanted to guarantee participation in the 2006 Ryder cup he should have ensured that he was in the top five world ranking Europeans or the following five on the European tour. The fact that he didn’t meant along with five (Pettersen, Poulter, Westwood, Clarke and Jimenez) he was reliant on the Captain’s pick. All these have a potential claim to those places and Woosnam had to make the choice for which I am in total agreement. There are always some disappointed golfers every two years which is understandable. However the fact that Bjorn reacted in the way he did clearly (and the substantial fine imposed) vindicates Woosnam’s choice.

  • 55.
  • At 03:52 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Mikael Hedager wrote:

It is just remarkable how some of the commentators can see TB's reaction as a vindication of Woosnam's decision to overlook TB for the RC team.

TB deliberately put his finger on a huge problem for the Europeans which is the lack of leadership. TB has done so in disappointment and has wisely enough issued an apology in order to back the team players. But people shouldn't think for a minute that TB hadn't spoken to at least some of the players on the team beforehand about the obvious problems in the communication skills of IW. These problems have not disappeared just because of the controversy.

This is not about IW's right to make the choices he did. Everybody is entitled to their opinion on the issue and only time will tell if IW made the right decisions.

Instead this is - I hope - a wake up call for IW to start leading the players for the challenge ahead. Up until now it has just been scary how he has treated some of the best players in the world with a total lack of respect.

I respect that some people criticize TB because they fear that this will weaken the europeans - noone on the continent or in Britain wants that - but it does not help matters to ignore the obvious. There is still time for IW to rise to the task given to him.

I hope that TB will bounce back from this as he has done so many times before when things didn't turn out his way. Great things are still to be expected from this player who has come closer to winning majors than most of the players on the team. I'm just happy that IW didn't pick Seve also based on his earlier results !

  • 56.
  • At 08:11 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • JR wrote:

So now Thomas Bjorn has apologized. It was a of course a necessary move by him given the very personal nature of his critiche. I think many underestimate Bjorn though, if they think he didn't calculate on this before he made his outburst. Naturally he was disappointed after his rejection and surely he does have a bit of temper (who doesn't)but he is definetely not clueless.
In my opinion he did the right thing. Somebody had to do it, and I think many of the members of the european tour is secretly clapping their hands now.

  • 57.
  • At 06:02 PM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • chuck loskarn wrote:

Hi. My name is Chuck Loskarn. My wife and I and another couple will be visiting Ireland for the Cup. We have tickets to the Sat and Sunday matches.My wife and I planned on going on Sunday and our friends would go on Sat.

However, when we received the tickets it has our names on all the tickets. Will that be a problem to split them because of security or is there a way to fix this?

If my friends, who do not know about this yet, can't go it could be my life. I emailed the European PGA and have not got a response. Help!

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