Golf: Martin may sue Ryder committee

Miguel Martin, who was dropped from Europe's Ryder Cup team, says he may take legal action over his exclusion. Andy Farrell reports from Valderrama
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The Independent Online
As the Concorde carrying Tom Kite's American Ryder Cup team landed at Malaga last night Miguel Angel Martin was also arriving at the airport. Martin, who had made the short journey from Madrid, is threatening to sue the Ryder Cup committee after they axed him from the European team and has so far declined an invitation to be at Valderrama.

"I do not know yet if I will be at the Ryder Cup," said the 35-year-old Spaniard who has been unable to play since July. He added: "You will have news tomorrow."

Lawyers for the European Tour consider Martin has no claim for compensation but the man replaced by Jose Maria Olazabal in Seve Ballesteros's team had earlier indicated he would not simply take the pounds 3,500 expenses offered to all the other team members.

Despite these problems Ballesteros had the air yesterday of a man who is ready for the most important week of his golfing life. Far from being nervous about what might happen in the first Ryder Cup ever to be staged on Spanish soil - indeed Continental soil - Europe's captain insisted that he is simply excited about the prospect.

"When people are nervous it normally means they don't have confidence," said Ballesteros, lifting a glass to show that his hand was not shaking. "This is not the case with me. Everything is under control, and I have tremendous confidence not just in myself, but in the team as well."

On his arrival at Valderrama, the sight of Nick Faldo practising hard was a welcome sight for the European team captain. Faldo has not played for two weeks and travelled ahead of the rest of the team, who flew in from London this afternoon.

Ballesteros, who in handing a wild card to Faldo, praised him as the man whom he would bet his life on playing the last hole, said: "Nick has shown dedication over many years, and it's nice to see he is still so keen.''