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Woosie worries

  • Rob Hodgetts - BBC Sport golf writer
  • 4 Sep 06, 06:41 PM

rob_hodgetts55x55.jpg LONDON - Oh dear. Ian Woosnam has only read out the names of two players and he seems to have sparked off massive negativity among European Ryder Cup fans.

Everyone's going to have their own views on who should/should not make the side, and that's fair enough, but following up Iain Carter's thoughts from Munich, many of you seem worried by the captain's conduct so far.

He doesn't come across particularly media savvy, as seen last week when he accidentally let slip that Darren Clarke was a distinct wildcard possibility.

And his style of man-management may appear less-than slick, such as informing Thomas Bjorn in the hotel bar he had missed out.

There's also been criticism that he has not sought the advice of 2004 captain Bernhard Langer.

And we've even had early comparisons with American captain "hapless" Hal Sutton from two years ago.

You could argue that his initial lapses - not serious on their own - are forewarnings of a greater disaster, PR or otherwise.

But none of this will matter a jot if Europe win on the golf course.

I spoke to South African great Gary Player this afternoon for an interview ahead of the Ryder Cup and he insists there is a lot of "rubbish" written about the event.

"He’s got nothing to contact Bernhard Langer about," said the 70-year-old South African, who is a two-time President's Cup skipper.

"He's the captain now, he must make his own decisions. He's the new leader."

I also had a word with Phil Price, who beat Phil Mickelson in the singles in 2002, and he didn't reckon the team's morale would be at all affected by Bjorn's stinging criticism of Woosnam after he was overlooked.

"It’s a shame because Thomas Bjorn is very good friends with Lee Westwood," said Price. "And I expected Westwood to be the pick over Thomas anyway, so I'm surprised Thomas has done that. But I don't think it will be remembered when the guys get to the K Club."

Player added: "These are seasoned pros, they know what it takes. You don’t have to tell them how important it is to win. They know exactly what they're in for. The less you say to them the better."

Looks like plenty of you will be hoping that's the case at the K Club.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:14 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Gary Dow wrote:

The players play the shots and Woosie can inspire the players. The crowd will make a massive difference too. They will be behind Clarke especially and it will b hard for any player to play against him knowing what he has had to contend with recently off the course. Europe will be triumphant and Lee playing at 50% still did well at the BMW. Yes Thomas would have been a good inclusion without his doubts over his game that is erratic especially in Ireland. Come on Europe and the fams and press and get behind the team 100% as we make it 3 in a row!

  • 2.
  • At 07:43 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Steve O'Brien wrote:

I can't help feeling that Ian Woosnam is golf's equivalent of Jimmy White. Even when he was winning tournaments he still came across as a professional loser. I'm not a committed golf fan but i had a negative feeling about his appointment as captain from day one.

  • 3.
  • At 07:46 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Peter Turvey wrote:

Woosie? Wrong choice for such a high profile event, from the start. I doubt he can motivate any of the top players as his day was years back. Let's hope the players themsewlves have the motivation

  • 4.
  • At 07:50 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Hans Christian Rohde wrote:

To wait 2 weeks before the Ryder Cup event to pick the final European team and refer to 5-year-old results as the reason for choosing the last team-member does not seem professional and does not reflect the Ryder-cup standards. I must say I understand Bjorn and his comments about Ian Woosnam.

  • 5.
  • At 07:50 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Jim wrote:

I think Thomas Bjorn has shown a lack of respect to his fellow professionals in this episode. He's had umpteen months to make sure he wasn't in the position of requiring a wild card. He had no devine right to be one of those two picks. There are no such grumblings from Miguel Angel Jiminez,Ian Poulter or Kenny Ferrie all of whom I would have picked over Thomas Bjorn had I been Ian Woosnam. Lee Westwood has a great Ryder Cup pedigree and only two years ago was Europes top point scorer, Woosnam made the right decision in my opinion and all that matters now is the team go on and win - AGAIN!

  • 6.
  • At 07:55 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Rich Dowell, Wirral wrote:

Woosie couldn't have won this one - the three players currently in the spotlight for the Wild Card are massive players in the world game, but three into two doesn't go - - and Woosie had to make a decision. Decisions are rarely liked by everybody - but Thomas must remember, should one of the current Team fall ill or become injured he may well have talked himself out of being a more than capable replacement. Perhaps in this sport we all should remember, no one person is bigger than the Game we all love, watch, and play.

  • 7.
  • At 08:00 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Donald, Glasgow wrote:

Woosenam's reluctance to pay tribute to those players who had come close to selection, was at best naive.
What possible factors could have influenced his decision,'in the last hour' before the press conference ?
Why has he not shown the maturity or integrity to inform all of those players who were involved in 'the decision'prior to telling the world ?
Perhaps then he would have left the dignity of those players omitted, such as Bjorn, intact.
He should remember how he felt when he was left out of the team and treat others in the way that he would have liked to have been be treated.
Respect is earned....he should remember that !!!!

  • 8.
  • At 08:04 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Mike Burns wrote:

Westwood is the right pick. He has a proven Ryder Cup pedigree and has won twice around the K Club. Thomas Bjorn is acting like a kid who didn,t get picked for the school team. Also when the pressure is on Bjorn bottles under pressure regulary such as the Open at Lytham and earlier this year at The K Club when leading by three with three to go he took an eleven at 17.

  • 9.
  • At 08:05 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • phil bacon wrote:

If Thomas is so incensed by being left out, perhaps he should have put more effort into being an automatic pick.

  • 10.
  • At 08:07 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • james turnbull wrote:

I certainly do not fellow Woosnam's reasoning concerning Westwood's Cup record -yes, he's won plenty of points and won events in Ireland - but this is all more than two years ago !! Westwood hasn't posteda convincible result for ages. One might as well have chosen Seve or Faldo following that line of reasoning because they used to be good. Westwood, unfortunately, has fallen from golfing stardom to something resembling golfing journeymanship and I think it embarrasing for Westwood that he should be picked for the team out of something seeming like pity. I should have chosen Edfors, Björn or Broadhurst in stead. However, one could have wished for a more graceful and moderated critique from Björn in lieu of this ranting.

  • 11.
  • At 08:10 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Michael Soerensen wrote:

..."20 seconds in a bar..."...thats what Woosnam spent telling the right pick; Thomas - that he was left out...!!!
It`s so disappointing that a person like Woosnam - whom I would expect would have the right format beeing picked as captain - so early shows that he has abolutely none!!
There is only one thing to say about this sad situation - almost the right team - totally the wrong captain........Good Luck, Lee and the rest of you guys;-)

  • 12.
  • At 08:11 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Ken Philburn wrote:

Thomas didnt get in the team because he wasnt good enough , simple as that. He should look to improve his game rather than attempting to blame some one else for his failings.
Mr Woosnam is entitled to select his own wild cards and every other player and supporter should back him in his selection.I cannot see any other result from this team than a resounding victory again.

  • 13.
  • At 08:19 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • steve owen wrote:

Feel really negative about all of this. Why would you not speak to Langer who was as prepared for the last Ryder cup as Woosnam is ill prepared for this one.I'm afraid that I think that it was summed up by the information that Bjorn was told in the bar. It seems a "matey" captaincy at best. Ryder cups can't be won in the bar of the K club where woosnam seems to be most at home.

  • 14.
  • At 08:21 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Charles Du Puy wrote:

Woosie couldn't really go wrong if he'd picked any of the top few that it seemed to come down to, but I think he's picked the best two for the job. However I think it was wrong and unprofessional to leave it right down to the last minute and not talk to all the players concerned before the press confrence. Considering his experience it was surprising that he didn't come across that well in the press room, and also hasn't had even a passing conversation on the subject with Berhard Langer and even some of his players. I really doubt that it will have much of an effect on the European players, as they are all top pros, but it would be nice if over the next few weeks the guy that picks the pairings and the playing orders, and handles the team talks could come over a little more as if he is on top of the job.

  • 15.
  • At 08:22 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • michael wrote:

Well, that the Westwood-pick doesn't surprise Phil Price hardly makes it a better pick.
Bjorn two good wins inside the last two years. Runner-up in a major a year ago. Runner-up in WGC-event two years ago.
Ahead on every list and a positive RC-record including a win over Tiger.

  • 16.
  • At 08:42 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Graeme Duckworth wrote:

Woosnam doesn't strike me as a leader of men, but let's hope he uses his great experience wisely. On the other hand, Bjorn's outburst is poorly judged. Woosnam used his wildcard picks in the way that they were supposed to be used - to pick two players with who would improve the team and with whom he was comfortable. Moreover, Bjorn didn't finish 11th or 12th in the European table - he finished 14th. Why does he think that he deserves the wildcard spot over, for example, Paul Broadhurst?

  • 17.
  • At 08:52 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • andy wrote:

Woosy offers very little inspirational motivation in my opinion. I agree with his wild card picks in part, but support and sympathise with Bjorn. I think we will win, Woosy will get the credit but like Mark James, no overt personality it will be interesting to see him in action.

Foolish not to consult Langer, but come the final day some will be sying what a great job. I'm more worried about Faldo in 2 yrs time, having read his auto biography its al me me me, and that is not what you need in a leader.

  • 18.
  • At 08:55 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Jim Maguire wrote:

Perhaps Woosie didn't pick Bjorn because of his 11 at the 17th at the K Club a few years back. That sort of thing does scar a player mentally, and Bjorn would have been thinking about it when the pressure was on in the Ryder Cup.

  • 19.
  • At 09:00 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • david wrote:

Woosie did come across terribly in the press conference yesterday and not talking to his potential team over the last 6 months is bad form, but bottom line it is down to the players to make it happen over the three days at the K Club.

The captains in the past have asked all the players who they want to play with anyway and on the course they just drive around in a buggy clapping the good shots and the bad so forget Woosie and get behind the players.

  • 20.
  • At 09:07 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Stev Hukin wrote:

Thank god Woosie didn't pick whinging Bjorn.
Like the BBC reporter says he had 10 months to make the top 10 and wasn't good enough to make it. He has chosen Westwood as he is a team player which is a requirement for the Ryder cup.In 3 weeks time we will see if Bjorn should have been picked..But I feel we will succeed quite nicely without him..Watch this space..

  • 21.
  • At 09:11 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Philip Quinn wrote:

Thomas Bjorn may come across as a sore loser but it's time someone pointed out that Woosie's captaincy has serious flaws. Not consulting Bernhard Langer was an extraordinary oversight after the way the German mapped out such a thorough and succssful, campaign in the US two years ago.
Not having the common sense to contact Bjorn, Ian Poulter, Paul Broadhurst, Carl Pettersen and co in advance of announcing his wild cards was another. He said he'd tell them during the week. Too late Woosie they already know.
Not selecting a vice-captain of stature hasn't helped either. DJ Russell and Peter Baker have disappeared off the map of European golf, unlike recent US Tour winner Corey Pavin, Tom Lehman's no 2.
That Mark James should support Woosie is only to be expected. Good old Jessie left out Langer in Brookline, and brought two wild cards who didn't get a game until the singles.

  • 22.
  • At 09:11 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • George Brand wrote:

I can't say I'm surprised at Woosnam so far. I didn't think he was a good team player and he failed to win one singles match in the competition and I for one had a very bad feeling when I heard he had been appointed as captain. I know you can't please everyone but the way in whic he's handled this is deplorable and does not auger well. I was against Mark James as captain too and it seems to me as though the PGA are now handing the captaincy around as a token of their appreciation for what the senior European pros did for the tour when winning Majors.

  • 23.
  • At 09:21 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Andy wrote:

I can't believe the comments I am reading about Ian Woosnam. He's been called a loser, uninspirational and foolish.

Perhaps people would do well to remember this guy's record as a player both in the Ryder Cup and in other tournaments:

'Played in eight Ryder Cups, enjoying the winning feeling on four occasions and in 1993 he became the first and so far only European Ryder Cup player to claim the maximum four points from the two foursomes and two fourball matches. Having twice topped The European Tour Order of Merit in 1987 and 1990, joined the greats of the game when he won the Masters Tournament at Augusta National in 1991. In 2004 he celebrated his 26th successive season on The European Tour, during which time he has won 44 titles worldwide. Became the first player to capture the HSBC World Match Play Championship in three decades – and, at 43, the oldest winner – at Wentworth Club in 2001, beating Padraig Harrington in an epic final. Has partnered seven different players in representing Wales 17 times in the World Golf Championships – World Cup.'

Bjorn has nothing to grumble about. If he was good enough he would have qualified automatically.

Langer can help the Americans for all I care. Woosnam has no obligation to ask him for help. No doubt there would be a queue of people also questioning his leadership had he done so!

The idea that he does not have the respect of the players is ludicrous. Anyone remember how and by whom the Captain is chosen?

  • 24.
  • At 09:27 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Jacob Bruun wrote:

Bjorn is my number one player in the world. I'm danish and started playing because of him. But this outburst won't help him at all. It's unprofessional and disrespects his former/maybe future teammates. That said, Bjorn is among the 5 best players in europe. Maybe his results this year doesn't reflect that, but he's been in the order of merit top 15 the last 10 years. 3 times runner up in majors. Great Ryder Cup statistics. And so on... We all love Westwood, especially his Ryder Cup wins, but he should NOT be in the squad this year! Maybe a third player is in front of Bjorn, but this pick is clearly a result of an old mindset that puts every brit in front of the rest.

  • 25.
  • At 09:31 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Gary Garvey wrote:

The team has been picked - end of story! What's important now is to support Woosie and the rest of the team as they prepare for the matches.

  • 26.
  • At 09:34 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Nikolaj Jensen wrote:

I think a lot of people are off the mark in their view points.
Thomas Bjorn did not say he deserved the spot over Paul Broadhurst, he said he deserved it over Lee Westwood.
Westwood had a couple of good results at the K club 5 years ago, but has shown very little in the last 2 years.
Woosenam cited Westwoods rydercup succes as a reason to pick him, but a quick peek at the record lists of Thomas Bjorn and Lee Westwood shows that Bjorn has won 58% of the possible points in Ryder cup matches, while Westwood has won 56% of the possible points in his matches.
Bjorn is no stranger to succes in Ireland having won the Irish open this year.

I think bringing in Westwood is a mistake. Broadhurst, Edfors or Bjorn should have been chosen over him.

  • 27.
  • At 09:50 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • scott greaves wrote:

dear god..get real people.
we are talking about a golf tournament here.mano versus mano.
when monty is lining up a 15 ft putt against jim furyk is his read going to be affected by woosies ability to lead the team?

these guys are pro golfers which ever tem plays better will win.
end of story

  • 28.
  • At 10:08 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Marcel wrote:

Sour grapes from Bjorn, and he's probably lost the respect of many with this outburst. If he thinks he should have been on the team, he should have ensured he was in the top 10. To expect a wild card because he's higher up in the world rankings is ridiculous - if that was the case, we wouldn't have wildcards and we'd just select the team from rankings. Wildcards are designed to allow the captain to add something to the team, which Woosie has done. Let's also remember that not only did Bjorn blow it on 17 last year, isn't this were he lost the plot the year before also?

  • 29.
  • At 10:31 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Tom Nicolson wrote:

Perhaps people need reminding of Europe's Ryder Cup ethic. The wild cards always do well, which is why we win. The captain always comes through, which is why we win. We always come together as a continent, which is why we always trounce the Americans.
And doesn't it feel great!

  • 30.
  • At 10:40 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Paul Martin wrote:

Thomas Bjorn should be ashamed of himself for acting like a spoiled child who thought he should have got the invite to the party. As others have pointed out, he had his chances to make the team on his own merit - which he didn't. As soon as it was evident that Darren Clarke would be in the team it was a pretty sure guess that Lee Westwood would also be included. They are a team, and a wonderful one too - just like Harrington and McGinley. What Europe needs is for every player to get behind the team and stop second guessing and moaning that they weren't picked. The Americans will feed off any dissension in the European team. Let's not give them that opportunity.

  • 31.
  • At 10:56 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • RJones wrote:

It's quite unbelievable how the majority of so-called European golf fans on this post are against Woosnam as captain. It seems everything he has done, and will do is going to be criticised.

I agree that he is not the most comfortable of public speakers, but at the end of the day he is a professional golfer, and a pretty good one at that. In his 8 Ryder Cup appearances he had performed well in team format, with many different partners, in some cases pulling the rookies through. The suggestion in one post that he is a poor team player is nonsense, and perhaps comes from someone who is not a real golf follower.

As for having not spoken to Langer.....does that really matter. Perhaps he spoke with Jacklin, Torrance, Seve....all winning captains against stronger American teams. He will captain it his way, and we will soon see if his way works or not.

At the end of the day, it will come down to the players picked, and their performance on the day. I think that we have one of the strongest European teams for a long time, and expect it to be a tremendous contest. It's time that every genuine European fan stops complaining about Woosie and his perceived shortcomings as captain, and gets behind him and the team.

  • 32.
  • At 10:58 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • VancouverRuss wrote:

For me it was a no brainer I would pick westwood over bjorn any day of the week.For bjorn to come out and say what he said just shows me that bjorn is a me player not a we player he would fit well on the US team.I would also like to say to disrespect Mr Woosnam in the way that bjorn has is out of order woosie has done way more for european golf than bjorn can ever dream of.

  • 33.
  • At 11:37 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • steve hunt wrote:

The player who should have been the second wildcard choice is Miguel Angel Jimenez.A great team player a good RC record and, in a match play situation, a birdie machine and a great ball striker

  • 34.
  • At 11:40 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Artee wrote:

Stupid bickering over nothing at all.
Yes you have to admit Woosie wasn't the most discreet when it came to his "wildcards", but we all knew before that Clarke and Westwood would be in there...that is unless us Joe Public are trying to kid ourselves?
Regardless on whether Westwood or Bjorn were put picked, I am confident man on man that our team is stronger...just look at the BMW last weekend!
As for respect, does anyone in the European team deserve it?...We haven't won a major for 7 years, and TBH those are the tournaments that count!

  • 35.
  • At 11:43 PM on 04 Sep 2006,
  • Daniel Connolly wrote:

I was kinda surprised with woosie at the press conference. I mean making his mind up 10 minutes before...... sounds dodgy

If he told clarke on thursday last, surely he could have called lee westwood before he left

I just think it looks bad in PR Terms. Advantage to Tom Leeman

For the record I would have picked Jimenez over westwood or bjorn....but westwood won over 5 years ago

  • 36.
  • At 12:11 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Niels wrote:

It's interesting that the merits of Lee years ago are put before Bjorns excellent performance at K-club not so long ago (bar 17th) and another win in Ireland this year.

However much I like Lee, Bjorn seems quite obviously to be the man in form, with the team spirit to match, and leaps ahead of Lee on any relevant ranking.

Sadly, Woosie came across shallow, unprepared and seemingly without having even thought about half of the simple questions posed by the journalists at the press conference about how he would lead the team from now on and until the final single on sunday.

That kind of 'captain' 'performance' nurtures the concerns about Woosies abilities as captain, and indeed also the wild-card decision, that seems more taken from the performance of way-back-when than who would be the best player for the Ryder Cup Team 2006.

Best of luck to us all - We'll need it under this 'leadership'... :-{
I'm genuinely concerned!!!

  • 37.
  • At 12:33 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • David Bell wrote:

Dodgy choice of captain; dodgy wild cards.
Captain now seems to be chosen on "whose turn is it of the old guard?" rather than suitability. However long ago it was, I backed Woosnam at 22/1 to win Masters, and admired his laid-back attitude. Since then he seems to have wasted his talent, and shown nothing to suggest he deserves to lead a team.
A captain doesn't have to pick the two who deserve it the most, but when you have in Bjorn the player who undoubtedly deserves it the most in terms of record this year and in recent years, you should only leave him out for someone who has exceptional claims.
Westwood, for all his unfulfilled potential, has no such claims.

  • 38.
  • At 12:37 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Dave Peregrine wrote:

Not a big golf fan but a big fan of all team sports, which is why the Ryder Cup always grabs my imagination.

The Ryder Cup is relatively unique in Golf in that it is a team event, and this for me is the crux of this discussion. Bjorn may well be a better golfer than Westwood at present, but is he a better team player? One only has to look at the performances of Woods and Mickelson in the RC to see that the best individual golfer does not always win (for this reason I don't even think that a fit Vijay would be a positive addition to either side, were he eligible). Woosnam has picked two players to be part of a team. He knows them better than we do and we just have to trust his judgement until tee-off, when the players can speak for themselves.

  • 39.
  • At 12:41 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • brendan hayes wrote:

Its interesting to hear the "Blogs" on Woosnam's captain's picks for the 2007 Ryder Cup, contrasted with the actions of our captain,Tom Lehman's throughout the year with his players it doesn't bode well for the Europeans. Woosnam based on past history has obviously learned his management and people skills at the local pub and it will rear its ugly head at the K Club when the "yanks" take the cup in a massacre. If I were Thomas Bjorn I too would be livid at the treatment i received. The boorish attitude of Woosnam as captain will play out as a major loss for the Europeans at the K Club and Woosnam should be the scapegoat for the blowout.

  • 40.
  • At 01:54 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Bengt Damm wrote:

I think that Thomas' Bjorns comment is fair, but should not have been made in public!

The biggest mistake of all was though to have made Ian Woosnam Captain, he might have been a good player but has a very limited talent 'upstairs'! I have met him and seen him in action off the course.

  • 41.
  • At 01:58 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Bertie Carrion wrote:

Thomas Bjorn has always and will always be a devil in disguise, his demeaner on the golf course says it all, if he misses a putt it takes him bloody ages to mark his ball. You've missed the putt, end of, mark the ball and get on with it, We are better off without him in the Ryder Cup team, it's a Team Game not a me me me game.

  • 42.
  • At 02:00 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Graham Pogger wrote:

This beeb website video is best evidence why Woosie best left him behind. Don't need folks who crack under pressure LOL

Only a few hours before TBs outburst Woosie had said in interview that he hoped to have a 'couple of beers' with TB soon - more good news for Woosie - he's saved a fiver (or tenner if bought at K - Club)

So all in all seems like Woosie got it spot-on - can't imagine someone as churlish as Bjorn should be in any team

  • 43.
  • At 02:09 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Graham Gilbert wrote:

I'm happy with Woosies Pick's, but don't think DC will play in the Foresomes.

If I was the USA Captain I would be very scared of having to win over 4 points against:

Monty & Howell
Garcia & Westwood
Harrington & McGinley
Casey & Donald

Powerfull Foresomes Partnerships.

But How about:

Casey & Donald
Stenson & Karlson
Clarke & Westwood
Garcia & Olazabal

Scared Now ?

If you're American you should be !


  • 44.
  • At 02:15 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Andrew Gordon wrote:

Most of the comments highlight Woosnam's lack of man-management/PR skills and Bjorn's lack of respect for the Captain and the Team in this episode. This incident is systematic of modern sport....where would we be without a bit of controversy prior to a major event? It's all immaterial as Europe should win the Ryder Cup this year and many years to come due to our strength in depth and desire!
The Captain in this event is always left to make a decision on his wildcards after the qualifying period ends, the problem is not who is selected but the choice available - two 'picks' is inadequate, a four 'pick' rule is more realistic.
Regardless of this the Team is the strongest team Europe has had for sometime with a great deal of experience and with 6 players in the World top 20. With this in mind Woosnam will not need to provide too much motivation, inspiration or tactics for these players.....and Thomas there is always next time! COME ON EUROPE!!!!!

  • 45.
  • At 02:35 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

By 'throwing his toys out of the pram' Thomas Bjorn has just shown a lack of class and proved how well Ian Woosnam knows his players. As far as records are concerned, the Ryder Cup is different and records in that competition are very important. Just look at Westwood's record.

  • 46.
  • At 04:36 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • papamia wrote:

I am not European or American, but i am still a huge fan of the Ryder Cup and have always been a keen observer of the tournament. One thing that has amazed me over the last few events is the togetherness and camaraderie of the European team and more importantly the role the captains have played in achieving this. Every Ryder Cup, the Americans go in as favorites, but often get stumped by "team" Europe. This time around the pundits are claiming the Europeans are favorites, yet the team spirit in the USA challenge appears a lot tighter. As much as I would prefer the Europeans to win, the signals are that they have much work to do to regain their team spirit, ultimately their most powerful weapon. I doubt Woosie is the man to help them find it.

  • 47.
  • At 07:13 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Darren Smith wrote:

Woosnam is not the brightest penny of the bunch, and wouldn't have been my choice as captain. However I think he has got his wildcard picks spot on.

Nothing wrong with Bjorn feeling miffed about not being picked, it's human nature, but a public strop with the cup just around the corner is not the way to behave.

  • 48.
  • At 07:44 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • ian wilkinson wrote:

Woosie is right to pick Lee - he's coming into form and has amuch better track record in the ryder cup than Thomas. He plays better under pressure - remember Thomas putting multiple balls into the lake in Ireland whe in the lead ?

  • 49.
  • At 07:49 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Brian Wilkie wrote:

I wrote long ago, when we were all speculating on the choice of the captain for this year's Ryder Cup. Then I stated that, due to my knowledge of all three players (Lyle/Faldo/Woosnam) that none of them would make a decent captain, for varying reasons. To my horror it was then announced that Woosie would do this one, with Nick to follow in the states.
You really need inspired leadership (like Torrance and Seve) with great media connections, and the ability to talk well with reporters and at Press functions - none of those three have what it takes, regardless of their playing records!

One final thought on the wildcards: with a British captain you are inevitably going to have 'bias' towards Brit players with the Europeans being ignored or overlooked. Why not a selection panel based on wiser heads than a 'temporary' captain? After all, he has to accept the present formula of qualifying for the team - even if he thinks privately that a player is not suitable for the team for any reason.
Although recent form is not brilliant there is a case for picking Jiminez and definitely Bjorn rather than the two selected. I would have said to Darren - after his offer - that it was too close to his recent loss for him to play in a pressure-cooker match like the Ryder Cup and he should be looking to play in two years time. Westwood's form has not been great and a case could be made for Swedish players who have actually been winning events in the states, this year! Again, the non-selection of Europeans raises its ugly head.
A final word: Bjorn was wrong to attack Woosie, however angry he was, and he should be reprimanded by the authorities for his outburst immediately after the wildcard announcement was made - over to you O'Grady.....

  • 50.
  • At 08:47 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Chris McDiarmid wrote:

Although I understand the frustration felt by bjorn, i feel his public outburst is uncalled for.

He should have accepted the decision publicly while pledging his support to the team and any issues he had with the selection should have been kept private.

After all, what right does he have to selection in this team, he had an opportunity to qualify automatically which he didnt take.

  • 51.
  • At 08:48 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Luci wrote:

I'll be suporting the American's this time round - I think Woosie has shown poor leadership and decision making from day one.If I get a chance to speak to him at the K Club I'll tell him myself.

  • 52.
  • At 08:50 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Peter G wrote:

Unfortunately for Thomas, wild cards are just that, and Ian Woosnam, as Captain is free to choose whoever he pleases. The Captain's pick system was designed to allow for anomalies in the qualifying system and as such there is in fact only really a case for Darren Clarke and Carl Petterson (who would have qualfied automatically except for the 'club rules'). As for the match itself, with three Irish in the team, in Ireland, with our reputation for good hospitality I hope it goes to the last putt on the last green in the last match and an Irishman holes from 30 feet to win the match!

  • 53.
  • At 09:05 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Peter Bailey wrote:

Ian Woosnam has got his first big decision right. He may not be "Mr Charisma" but he has at his disposal probably the strongest European team for a long time. He needs to use them wisely, and win the cup. Following Langer is a big ask, but he had the huge good fortune to be up against Hal Sutton, who was a poor captain. There are always these arguements in the lead up, but look at the teams, and whose would you rather have? For the first time since 1985, I expect us to win. Europe by 3.

  • 54.
  • At 09:19 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Miles Dowsett wrote:

I can understand Thomas Bjorn's frustrations, but lashing out at Woosnam so publicly is probably more about being annoyed with himself than anything else.

Bjorn has no right to compare himself to Westwood in terms of World Rankings and Ryder Cup points list. Like Westwood he failed to qualify for the team in this respect, so it is a hollow argument.

A team event such as the Ryder Cup requires a player to have number of attributes such as being versatile, being able to gel with many different players, complimenting the players who have qualified etc. because of the nature of foursomes, fourballs, singles etc. Then there's the off the course bonding etc. The World Rankings and Ryder Cups points table don't take these qualities into account, so to criticise Woosnam for his wildcard picks, and without knowing those players involved, is silly argument. Ian Woosnam knows what a Ryder Cup is all about; he's played in 8, been vice-captain - I think he has enough experience to know who to pick and how to play them.

  • 55.
  • At 09:36 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • David Callan wrote:

I think Bjorn is a sore loser, why he is refering to the fact that he is higher in the rankings to Westwood, this does not matter for wildcards, if it did matter then why not just take the top twelve according to the official rankings? If he had a problem with the wildcard issue then why didn't he speak out before?

  • 56.
  • At 09:41 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Soborg wrote:

Well being dane as I, I'm obviously dissapointed. Though it has to be said that Thomas Bjorn did not play this year to deserve a wildcard. It is even more clear that Lee Westwood did not either. There are players in much better shape who rightly had deserved to be in there and though Clarke and Westwood are great and experienced players, especially Westwood have been off track for too long to justify a wildcard.

There are a few swedes (Carl Petterson, Johan Edfors) among others. A bit of nepotism or what? I hope "Woosie" proves me wrong.

  • 57.
  • At 09:44 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Allan wrote:

Regardless of position in the order of merit or any other measurement, Ian Woosnam has picked two team players. Clark & Westwood were a winning pair in previous Ryder Cups, which seems a good enough reason to pick them.

Being a leader isn't about being popular or good with the press or pleasing everyone, being a leader is about getting it right when it matters, inspiring the team and winning. We await Woosie's fate.

  • 58.
  • At 09:44 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Berrie wrote:

Good call on the choices - both have an excellent record in the Cup and contribute to the team energy in a big way - I know it's about the golf but how they fit in to the team needs to be looked at too.

Woosie is under pressure to win (especially, I think I heard somewhere that the USA have not lost three in a row) so why not stop all the critics and get behind the team!

Lastly Bjorn please get behind the team - USA have a very unified team this time round and Europe need to be in the same place if there is a chance of winning the mental game.

Good luck Europe!

  • 59.
  • At 09:46 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Mervyn Searle wrote:

There's a book in this... leadership requires communication, inside and outside the team and it's not being done well which means the US already has an advantage.

Interesting to note the support for Woosnam from Mark James who was forced to re-sign his Ryder Cup position in 2000 because he "has written a controversial book on his Ryder Cup captaincy.

  • 60.
  • At 09:56 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Bill Martin wrote:

Show some class Thomas - you're a multi-millionaire, you do a job you love, you are healthy and in pretty good shape and your kids will still love you regardless of whether you play in the Ryder Cup. Take a look around the world, compare your life with that of millions of others, count your blessings. Before witnessing his reaction to not being picked, I would have actually picked him myself. Now all I can say is: 'Nice choice Woosie.'

  • 61.
  • At 09:58 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Chris D wrote:

I whole heartedly agree with Jim's comments (7.50pm 4 Sep) - Bjorn has acted like a spoilt child given that some of the others not picked have greater reason to be disappointed. Whether Woosie has acted rightly or wrongly from a PR point of view is questionable, but Bjorn has hardly handled the situation well! He could have made his point much more cleverly - perhaps they should both get some lessons from a PR guru!!

Incidentally isn't the point of the captain's pick that it's not the next 2 players or those really close after those who automatically qualified?! Oh and by the way everyone (including Bjorn) seems to be pointing to the fact that Westwood is behind in all the rankings - how come then Lee is ahead in the world rankings on the Ryder Cup list? 10 pts ahead accordingly to the website today!

  • 62.
  • At 10:00 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

An earlier comment this morning mentioned that Thomas Bjorn should have been selected based on a runner up finish in both a major and a WGC event. May I remind them that coming runner up in matchplay can also be called losing! Bjorn has shown in the past, particularly in the Open that he lacks the bottle to finish an event off and I for one would not want the Dane standing over a five footer to win the Ryder Cup.

  • 63.
  • At 10:05 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Colin Territt wrote:

I think Bjorn has shown a lack of respect with his outburst. Westwood has been playing the better golf in the last month or so. Woosnam has to pick the players who are performing and to be honest, Bjorn hasn't really hit the heights. Everybody in contention for the last wildcard place (and I do agree with those who say Woosie was a bit media silly to hint at Darren Clarke as an almost shoe-in for one spot ) going into the final tournament would have been bitterly disappointed not to be chosen.

But I wonder if Bjorns outburst is nothing more than an angry outburst. He has played in Ryder Cups before and knows that difficult decisions have to be made for the benefit of the team. Woosie has played in eight of them, and although very unsucessful in the singles, his partnerships with Faldo, Baker, Westwood and Bjorn himself have shown he has the temperement and nouse to get through this.

Anyway, who's position would we rather be in?
I think we could see a one-sided slaughter. If we get ahead by a lot on day one, then Woods will turn his back on the team and play fo himself. Mickelson will probably do the same.

I predict a six point plus victory, then all this talk of Bjorns outburst will be drowned out by the sound of popping corks and " Danny Boy " !!!!

  • 64.
  • At 10:08 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Mark Kidger wrote:

I have to add my name to the list who are bewildered by Thomas Björn's reaction. He had two chances to get in on the revised qualifying system: by the World list and by the European money list. The new system is (almost) foolproof. If you're good enough you get in, unless injury or some other circumstance has hampered you, in which case there are the two wild card picks.

By his reaction Thomas Björn, a fine golfer, has regrettably shown that Ian Woosnam has called it right in going for the team man over the individual. This is a team competition after all and Europe has usually done far better in the team element (fourballs and foursomes) than the individual. Anything that weakens that team spirit weaken's Europe's chances of winning.

Woosnam has shown admirable restraint by not hitting back and just limiting himself to saying that it will all blow over. He's probably as bewildered as anyone by the fuss.

  • 65.
  • At 10:18 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Ryan Georgakis wrote:

Why is the big Dane so annoyed? I don't hear the other players complaining! they had just as much reason to be upset... Petterson has won twice in the US this year finished 8th in the Open, Edfors winning three times in Europe.. Anyway what's it matter… We have the most strength in depth ever and as long as Woosie doesn't screw it up with some whacky Hal Sutton decisions we'll be just fine, he's also lucky that the majority of the 2004 team pairings are still available… I'd like to see the colour of Mr Wetterich's, JJ Henry and Tin Cups trousers come the first tee…

  • 66.
  • At 10:19 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • James wrote:

I agree with Jim that Bjorn has shown a lack of respect, in my opinion to the European Team as a whole and obviously to Woosnam. If making the Ryder Cup team is as important to him as it appears to be then automatic selection is the only means he should have relied upon to secure a place. No player has a right to a wild card and to pick a player who has won around the course twice previously, has shown good form with a few weeks to go before the matches and has an excellent record in the event does not appear foolhardy to me.

I think Woosnam could have handled the releasing of his wildcard picks a lot better however and it does show a worrying lack of direction and planning on his part. There is also no harm in speaking to previous winning captains such as Langer, even if you eventually discard any advice given and follow your own path.

  • 67.
  • At 10:21 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Liz wrote:

I think Ian Woosnam has handled the wildcard selection poorly. Thomas Bjorns response would have been different if Woosnam had showed better leadership qualities.

I am not enamoured by Mark Jame's views on Bjorn's rant either - he was a dreadful Ryder Cup captain. Ian Woosnam's response to Thomas's comments are to be expected - over a few beers the issue would be resolved! This is the man who thought that current players were obsessed with personal fitness rather than propping up bars whilst on tour.

I am looking forward to the next Ryder Cup when Nick Faldo leads. Woosnam like James do not fulfill what I expect from a Ryder Cup Captain. After Langers wonderful professional performance, I feel let down.

  • 68.
  • At 10:22 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

I think Thomas Bjorn was completely out of order to respond the way he did. Can anybody honestly say that they were shocked that Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood were picked as wildcards? They were the obvious choice and had either of them missed out then I would have been more surprised. A lot of good players missed out on both the European and American side but you don't hear them complaining like Bjorn did. Bjorn should get behind the team and show his support!

  • 69.
  • At 10:38 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • David Hart wrote:

I've just read all the comments and I broadly agree with most. I wasn't happy with Woosnam's selection as captain, and I do worry about our chances in three weeks time. We clearly have the best team but not the best captain.

Suffice to say, Lehman pulled off a corker by getting Woods & Mickelson to the K Club with the rest of the team. He really must have true motivational skills to convince W & M to make the trip. This clearly dosen't bode well for us.

But getting back to Woosie....his two picks are poor. It's far too soon for Clarke to come back from the death of his wife and play in the RC...and Woosman should have told him so. Clarke last played competitively at the Open and he looked totally drained then.

How can you expect someone to pick-up their game a week before the event having not played for eight weeks and also just experienced a huge personal shock.

Absolute madness! With regards to Westwood...I've never been a fan of his and he's never fulfilled his early promise. Yes, his RC form and K Club performances are good but really no better than Bjorn's. Furthermore, his form has been patchy this year and I think Bjorn, Edfors, Broadhurst or Jimenez would have been better picks.

Overall, I can't help feel the presence of Chubby Chandler behind all this. Maybe a few deals were struck to secure Clarke & Westwood's selections well before the BMW International last week!

However, I'm so pleased for Olazabal. His last appearence was in 1999 and he judged it perfectly to secure is place in the team on merit. I hope Woosie has the sense to pair Garcia & Olazabal together...we should get a few comments from Seve on that one. Good luck guys...beat the Yanks...and I just can't wait for the furore around Faldo's captaincy in 2008!!

  • 70.
  • At 10:42 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Simon Thompson wrote:

I do not believe Woosie is at fault for his picks, Westwoods record at the K club and the Ryder Cup speaks for itself, Clarke was in very good form even though he was playing under extra-ordinary emotional pressure. My worries are more to do with the European Qualification process, McGinley is in the team because of his form last year, not very relevant in September, he is 63not even in the top 60 on the European tour and has played 19 events. Probably the worst player in either team on current form. Would rather have seen a player in the team on recent form.

  • 71.
  • At 10:48 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Per Jessen wrote:

Ryder Cup selection sucks!

In all fairness we can discuss if Lee was the right pick or not until after the Cup, but the fact is that he didn't deserve the picked over the "others" based on Woosie's arguments.
I'm sure that more players will throw stones after Woosie for his pick and maybe Bjorn’s frustration and outburst is immature, but like others Bjorn must feel it a bit like a joke, in any others sports the reaction would have been the same if no contacts or motivation to get on the team from the captain.

Woosie should have been man enough to admit he needs help to handle the situation and make the best out of it – if Europe wins nobody will question Woosie’s “talent” but he doesn't come across not like past successful captains being in control of a motivated team!

I hope the wildcard picks will be thrown out and that the two players will be found from the 10 players below the automatic pick in a golf tournament. In all fairness Clarke hasn't been playing well for a long time due to his private situation, why do we believe he will perform now ? Don't get me wrong but I feel really sad for Darren in his situation and the other players would love to have him on the team BUT still those two spots should have been picked on a day form and not from old results or any other personal preferences.

  • 72.
  • At 10:50 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • james wrote:

Firstly Westwood is a born winner, he has more wins under his belt than most and he rarely cracks under pressure. Considering his record of two years ago I'm not surprised he was picked.

As for Thomas, regardless of what right to a wild card he thought he had, he should remember that a wild card pick is exactly that 'wild'. Woosie could have picked his good friend Paul Broadhirst if he so wanted (who was above Thomas in the rankings) or even someone like Simon Dyson (a Ryder Cup star of the future, perhaps!) he should do well to remember that little point of the 11 he took on the 17th of the K club in an event he should have won!

What if the whole thing came down to him needing to win the 17th! I'm not so sure I'd feel comfortable watching him battle his 'demons' of that hole in that crucial situation. The point is the only way to guarantee your spot is to be in the top ten.

In terms of Thomas' conduct, I feel it was very unprofessional and I have to question what he was hoping to achieve - does he think this is good for the team? Or does he not care if he's not involved?

Also many have commented on Woosnam's captaincy style, you should remember that all Ryder Cup captains are great golfers trying to be a captain for a year - many of the players question some of Seve's captaincy techniques but they applauded other aspects. Woosie will do it his own way, he knows what he wants to do and how he wants to do it, he doesn't have consult anyone if he so wishes or he can ask everyone who's ever done the job after all he's the captain, besides it's the players that win the points and we have a very strong, experienced team.

  • 73.
  • At 10:52 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Mike Moon wrote:

If the petulant Dane is relying on statistics, perhaps he should look at his form over the past month, where he has finished 155th (m/c) in the Deutsche Bank, 129th (m/c)in the US PGA, 18th in the WGC & 13th in the BMW. Hardly 'Championship' form?

Over the same period, Westwood's record is 2nd, 29th, 77th & 28th (the last two while in ill health).

Also, Westwood is a proven winner with 23 wins (inc 7 outside Europe)while Thomas trails somewhat behind with 11 (2 o/E).

Out of the two, I think that Woosnam has made the right choice for TEAM Europe.

Now Woosie, just polish up on the PR front (say as little as possible!), get those pairings right & cage the Tiger!

  • 74.
  • At 10:56 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Mike Cornish wrote:

Woosie had to make a decision and will stand or fall by that decision.
I thought Thomas Bjorn would get a pick but feel he should have respected Woosies choice and kept quiet until after the event.

  • 75.
  • At 11:02 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • P Thomas wrote:

Woosnam is doing his job which, on this occasion, is to select the team most suited for victory. Time will prove if he is right or wrong.

As for Bjorn - professionalism is not a matter of getting paid, it's an attitude of mind which includes accepting decisions that go against you then going out and proving people wrong.

  • 76.
  • At 11:07 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Greg Dixon wrote:

The argument that Bjorn should have played better through the year is completely non-sensical. Surely the whole reason we're having this discussion is because it is the Wild Card picks? So, by that token, Lee Westwood should also have played better throughout the year.

As much as I admired Woosnam as a player, I have my doubts about his leadership qualities, but really, the only people whose opinion on that matters are the players, and how they respond to Woosnam. I wish them all the luck in the world for it, here's hoping it's three in a row, but I cant help but wonder if Jiminez would have been a better pick. It's academic now of course, good luck to the boys in Ireland.

  • 77.
  • At 11:15 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • stephen duggan wrote:

I cannot stress at how frustrated I am at Ian Woosnam's choice of Darren and Lee. I am a huge follower of the European Tour and have attanded so many events this year. Most people overlook Darren being chosen, due to his horrendous personal problems, but really are we being unfair asking him to produce, considering his personal life?

Lee being chosen over Thomas is shocking. Lee has been in decline over the last few years and I doubt he'll ever be a serious contender. Thomas on the other hand is still always in the shake up. The most baffling thing of all is everyone keeps mentioning how Lee has great experience in Ireland and Thomas hasn't. Thomas won one tournament in 2006, our flagship tournament (yes I'm Irish), the Nissan Irish Open!!! Funny that aye?

  • 78.
  • At 11:17 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Will Sandison wrote:

Woosie has made a good choice with Darren C. Playing at the K club will stir all his emotion to insire him to play well. The suporters will love him, what an atmosphere there will be

  • 79.
  • At 11:30 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Tejan, Dubai wrote:

Its sad to see Thomas speaking about a fellow professional golfer (Woosie) like that. Maybe his memory is short and in my opinion has insulted himself more than anyone else. As many postings have made clear, if he had played himself into the top ten on the rankings then he would have something to talk about. They are referred to as Captains Picks precisely because it is up to the Captain to pick who he feels is good for the team, and merit and ranking has nothing to do with it. Look at Monty a couple of years ago.. nowhere in the rankings but massive in the Ryder Cup!! Thomas would do good to apologise to his peers and support Europe to win the Cup!!

  • 80.
  • At 11:32 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Ray Rapp wrote:

I think some of the criticism against Woosie is unfair. He has experienced being part of the team as both a player and assistant. Woosie is also well liked and respected on the tour by his peers. Thomas Bjorn's outburst was unecessary and whilst one can sympathise with him for not making the team, the fault is all his for not qualifying automatically.

Darren Clarke as a Captain's pick was, shall we say, surprising. Nevertheless, there are number of good arguments why Darren should have been picked. He is on home soil - for starters.

I think the Europeans are a much stronger side in both ability and experience. Indeed, that is probably a first. Hence if the European golfers play to their potential, Europe will be the victors. If not, Woosie will be chastised by all and sundry - that's golf!



  • 81.
  • At 11:32 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Godfrey McFall wrote:

Ok so maybe Woosie isn't the most media savvy Ryder Cup captain of all time and yes, he may well say the wrong things at inappropriate times. Further, he has an eratic tendancy that may well result in him keeling under the pressure of three-days of intensive golf. And yes, perhaps he isn't the right man for the job.

But to claim he lacks charisma and won't be able to motivate the players and should seek advice for Langer is a massively bizarre statement. Langer simply wasn't the driving force behind the European's victory two years ago. We all know who motivates that group of world class players....Colin Montgomerie and noone else. Forget Woosie, it's Monty that'll make the difference.

  • 82.
  • At 11:54 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Alan Lomas wrote:

Woosie had a very hard decision to make with his wild card picks. There where a number of players who would have done a good job as wild card's in the team, none of them have thrown a temper tantrum. Bjorn has been very unprofessional with his comments towards Woosie. He could gain some respect back by apologising to Woosie and the rest of the team.

I don't know why Woosie is getting some criticism for not speaking to Langer. Should the criticism not go to Langer for helping Tom Lehman?

  • 83.
  • At 11:57 AM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Nick Wheatley wrote:

The saga of Woosie's choices will wage on and on as most sporting arguments do. The likely end of it will be if Europe retain the cup, as captain he will have to take the applause or the criticism. However I do feel that for the for the first time in a number of years our captain is lagging behind the American captain. By this I mean that if rumours are to be believed he has spoken to very few if any of the automatic spots let alone the wildcards. He must have had an idea of who he was going to select weeks ago if not then god help us if he has to make decisions on the spot during the match.

To finish C'MON EUROPE!!!

  • 84.
  • At 12:01 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Matt McD wrote:

For me, Bjorn's outburst suggests that Woosie was spot on to leave him out of the team. Going to the media and disrespecting the captain in front of the whole golfing world are not the kind of traits desirable in a team player. However, on the plus side the European team might be able to use his behaviour to bring themselves closer together. Let's hope so anyway!

  • 85.
  • At 12:03 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Adrian wrote:

As an avid golf player and fan of both European, American and sunshine tours i've seen most of the golf played by all three players in question (Bjorn, Clarke and Westwood). From those three I would've selected Bjorn and Westwood. I just dont see the benefit of including Clarke after his tragic loss and playing almost no competitive golf for two months.

Woosnam, would also have been my absolute last pick as captain for the european team. His press conference after the BMW Open was farcical.

That said, come on Europe !

  • 86.
  • At 12:05 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Alex Scheepers wrote:

Wasn't it Thomas Bjorn that complained about Phil Price and his caddie shortly after 9/11 causing Phil Price and his caddie to take a different flight home? Perhaps off the topic but maybe casts a little doubt over the impartiality over Phil's first choice for the spot.

  • 87.
  • At 12:05 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Bob Revie wrote:

I agree with many postings that Ian Woosnam's shortcomings in the management stakes are massivley overshadowed by the strength of the team. I had already written down the names of Clarke and Westwood before they were announced and I am sure many golf fans would have too. I will be at the K Club in 2 weeks time to witness a third European victory. With the quality of the European Team, that is a forgone concusion, with or without Woosnam.

  • 88.
  • At 12:06 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Lloyd Taylor wrote:

Woosie has picked the best team from the players available. This has been confirmed with Bjorn's outburst. With that kind of attitude I would not pick him for my club's team let alone a Ryder Cup wildcard spot. He wasn't good enough to qualify and his outburst is probably out of frustration.

The sports governing body should bring him to task over the negative comments in the build up to the best sporting event in the world. Westwood plays with passion for his team and will rise to the occasion again! Darren will do the same. In future Thomas I suggest you take lesson's on what it means to be a team player.

  • 89.
  • At 12:13 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Derek Hutcheson wrote:

Mr Bjorn needs to remember that Golf is a gentleman's sport. Perhaps he should have been chosen over Westwood but he has shown his true colours now and should be fined/penalised by the European Tour for his outburst and banned from playing in the next Ryder Cup.

Possibly if he had been 11th in the standings he may have had the right to feel aggrieved but to do what he did is unacceptable. I can only hope he will learn from this experience and apologise not only to Mr Woosnam but to all us Golf fans who feel let down.

  • 90.
  • At 12:13 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Tim Haigh wrote:

Regardless of how he felt, for Bjorn to go public with his comments was unprofessional and counter-productive. What did he think he would achieve exactly? All he succeeding in doing was embarrassing himself. If he doesn't regret his petulant outburst in the weeks to come I'll be very surprised. Bjorn's lost out here in more ways than one.

  • 91.
  • At 12:25 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Dave wrote:

Up to BMW Championship (End of May 2006) € 719,956.11
After BMW Championship € 350,320.87

Up to BMW Championship € 119,464.21
After BMW Championship € 610,527.28

This is reason enough to choose Westy over Bjorn for me.

  • 92.
  • At 12:31 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Graeme, Edinburgh wrote:

I think Thomas Bjorn would have been less upset had the Captain been in touch with the players close to being picked, all through the year. By appraising them on their performance, he would have avoided the situation he found himself in with Thomas. For me this is basic management skills!!! We didn't hear anything like this when Langer was captain.

Also, I have doubts about both wild cards picked by Woosie. There is no doubting both players pedegree but Lee has yet to show the form of a couple of years ago and I feel it just maybe too soon for Darren after the tragic death of his wife. You only need to look at Tiger Wood's performance in the Masters to see the effect that it can have on a person. I hope I'm wrong!!

I'm a believer in playing players in form, and with that you have to look at Kenneth Ferrie and Carl Peterson for the wildcards. I also hope that Paul McGinley's form returns for at the moment, he is so out of sorts, it at least guarentees a point for USA in the singles.

Should a player not think of the team and withdraw if his form is appauling? I'd like to think that would be the case. I only hope that the great Irish crowd inspire Paul to raise his game back to the level we know he can produce. I know all this sounds negative, but I can assure you I will be 100% behind the guys and hope we stuff them like last time!!! (Though I'd take victory by half a point too!! LOL!)

  • 93.
  • At 12:42 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Carol wrote:

I agree with Godfrey! To say that Woosie lacks charisma and motivation is ludicrous. To compare Woosie with Langer is like saying that Faldo will captain the side next time in Seve style! They are different people - Woosie will motivate the team in the locker room in the way that I imagine Sam Torrance did, and I would think that it's the likes of Torrance that Woosie has sought advice from.

Thomas Bjorn has acted totally unprofessionally and it's time he made a public apology to the captain, the team and the European fans.

  • 94.
  • At 12:55 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Coachio wrote:

As in most of the comments I feel it is totally unprofessional of Thomas to speak out like he has. Would he have made the same comments if Petterson or Edfors had got the nod ahead of him. Both had equally as strong claims to the Captains pick as he did. And lets not forget it is a wildcard pick and therefore will always cause heated dicussion amongst players and supporters alike. It is now a matter of getting behind the team for the main event. We have to feel good about a team as strong as this, and it is a testamont to the depth of talent we have that the players who just missed out are of the quality they are.
At least we don't have the same worries as the Americans about who to pair with who. By picking Clarke and Westwood, Woosie has already picked some of the foursomes.

  • 95.
  • At 01:02 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Stuart Thomson wrote:

I think everone is missing the point. Bjorn feeling sorry for himself is one thing, but a public rant against the captain displays disrespect to the two wildcard picks and the rest of the team. Thomas should keep shtum unless it is a public display of support for the team.

As for all and sundry doubting the captain, that's a bit silly. He has been on winning Ryder Cup teams both as player and assistant and knows what it takes to motivate a winning team. He's also won the Masters so is obviously a winner himself!!!

I think his picks were spot on. He needs to think about fourballs and foursomes when making his decisions and lets face it, Westwood and DC haven't done bad in the past.

Let's get behind the team AND the captain. COME ON EUROPE!

  • 96.
  • At 01:12 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Dave R wrote:

What is it about some of the British and European people? Why look on the negatives all the time?

Is Woosie good enough? Too late, he IS the Captain! Should Thomas Bjorn have received a wild card? Too late, Westwood DID!

Let's stop looking at these 'too late' scenarios and get behind a fabulous team more than capable of winning the Cup?

  • 97.
  • At 03:14 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Gereint wrote:

TB has had long enough to get his game together to qualify for the team without having to rely on a wild card entry!
If he was that determined to be part of the team I'm sure he could of pushed for the top 10.

As it turns out he has not made it and is now moaning and making more media pressure for the European team.

  • 98.
  • At 03:40 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • andy wrote:

I think the way Ian Woosnam has gone about the selection process has a lot to be desired, his man management skills should have told him to phone or speak to the individual players in there rooms not in a bar. But looking at the US players I would expect the European team to win comfortably....yours

  • 99.
  • At 03:56 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • paddy wrote:

This all shows the reality of professional tour golfers in that they arent successful because of their IQ and general academic and social acheivements. Truth is that Woosie got the job because he wanted it and no one was able to stand up and say he wasnt suitable. Bjorn has shown his true personality, and willing to let rip through the media in the full knowledge that this would raise a storm that the Europeans dont need. Unfortunately they cant all be intelligent like Mark James, who was so right to say that Bjorns behaviour underlines how right it is that he isnt on the team. May he hang his head in shame and opt out of future Ryder Cups!

  • 100.
  • At 04:29 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • John wrote:

I feel that Lee Westwood has been playing mediocre golf (at best) for the last six years. Look at his results this year - seven missed cuts in a row. T29 was his best result in a major. I think Bjorn deserved the pick much more than Westwood. He has two wins in the last two years (with many other close ones). Basically - he's a better player even though he does have his flaws.

Having said all that even as an Irishman and as a Darren Clarke fan I feel Bjorn deserved the wild card pick the most of the likely three. It is a big gamble to expect Clarke to perform after months out and all he's been through.

I'm scared that Woosnam will be a disaster as a captain - another Mark James I fear. He won't prepare much and has no charisma or sense really. He didn't even have a meeting planned with the players before the Ryder cup! Well, I wouldn't expect more from the man. He's always bordering on quitting the game too complaining of his poor putting.

  • 101.
  • At 04:32 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Adrian Brewster wrote:

Of course the arguments will go on and on about the wild card picks and the selection process.

Lets undestand one thing - the selection process was changed so that it allowed those Europeans who were plying their trade on the PGA Tour - e.g Jesper Parnevik and more recently Olazabal & Garcia. I remember at the time of the change, that alot of the more prominent European Tour players complained - Of course they complained bacause they were unlikely to qualify by their mediocre finshes on the EuroTour. This was a bold and constructive move because it allowed the better European Players to continue to compete in the US.

As for the debate over the wildcard picks. I think that Woosnam's job was easy compared to if Edfors, Bjorn and Broadhurst would have "sneaked in" at the BMW. We would all now be questioning the exclusion of Olazabal and to some degree McGinley from wild card picks - surely ??

Let's get on with the task ahead - spanking the Yanks at the K Club with the Team's full support - COME ON !!!!!!!

  • 102.
  • At 05:04 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Louie wrote:

If Bjorn is talking about rankings then Carl Pettersson has a case for a wild card pick, currently ranked 30th to Bjorn's 32nd in the latest world ranking list. Also Woosnam's team has the top nine Europeans in the world rankings in it, the exceptions being Karlsson (12th), McGinley (15th) and Westwood (13th).

  • 103.
  • At 07:22 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Kalyan Pokala wrote:

Disagree with his opinion, but fining him reeks of fascism. Freedom of speech, please.

I'd be P.O.ed if I didn't get selected because Woosie had some pals he'd like to take along.

As an American born in England, raised to follow England in almost every sport, I don't know who I will root for. But Woosie has done a terrible job of communicating who he'd be selecting.

  • 104.
  • At 07:35 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Mark Roper wrote:

I have a bad feeling about this cup. Darren Clarke may not have his head ready yet for golf, Westwood was a pick from the gut, not the brain, Olazabal is looky streaky, McGinley is a bag of nerves and none of these are rookies. But, worst of all is Woosnam. A great player, but not a leader or at all inspirational. Also his back up men are a strange choice whan it comes to inspiring winners. With all that plus Europe being favourites the US for once have nothing to lose. My heart will be with Europe, but my head and my money with the USA.

  • 105.
  • At 09:04 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Justin Bryant wrote:

As an American, I think Woosie made the right picks. Bjorn might be in a bit better form than Lee, but don't forget, Lee was in even worse form prior to the 2002 Cup, yet had an outstanding 3 days at the Belfry. The old saying "Form is temporary, class is permanent" comes to mind. Finally, I would assume Woosie will pair his two picks up again, as they have played together successfully at past Cups.

Also, it's worth noting that Tiger was in the midst of swing changes at each of the last two Cups, and in 1999 still hadn't become the player he is now. His form at the moment is downright terrifying and there's no longer any doubt that every record, including Nicklaus' 18 majors, will come tumbling down. But will it equate to more Ryder Cup points this year? The event just doesn't seem to suit his single-minded focus.

  • 106.
  • At 12:17 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Don Noble wrote:

OK. We have now heard from Lyle, Baker, two very minor players in this Ryder cup. But where are the words from the Captain? Does Wooosnam have nothing to say again?

  • 107.
  • At 09:50 AM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Simon J wrote:

Anybody want to complain about Woosie now???

Thought not!

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