Golf: Ryder Cup - Martin makes peace with Ballesteros

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The Independent Online
Peace has broken out in time for the Ryder Cup. Miguel Angel Martin and the Cup Committee have settled their differences and a press conference today will confirm it is possible to get a "square head" back into the circle of the European team.

Seve Ballesteros, Europe's captain, had some fairly unpleasant things to say about his fellow Spaniard who, having qualified for the Ryder Cup, was not happy about being ejected when he failed to submit to a fitness test on his injured wrist.

As well as questioning the dimensions of Martin's head, Ballesteros was scornful of his threat to take the matter to court. "He was not welcome in the team before," a furious Seve said. "Do you think he is welcome now?''

Well, he is now. The peace was brokered at an hour-long meeting at the team's hotel at San Roque attended by Martin, Ken Schofield, the executive director of the PGA European Tour, Richard Hills, the director of the Ryder Cup, and Pedro Cardelus, the vice president of the Spanish Golf Federation. "Miguel Angel is morally re-established in the team and is now looking to the future, not the past," Cardelus said.

"It's over and I am happy," Martin said. "I am here for the week. I am a member of the team. I'm even in the next room to Seve. I'm going to see him straightaway.''

Martin would not say any more until this morning but previously had stated he would not settle for the pounds 3,500 expenses the other team members receive. Europe now has a non-playing captain and a non-playing player.

One of the singletons in the American team is Tiger Woods, whose father did not intend to travel due to his recent heart by-pass but would have liked an invitation. "Both my dad and my mum were upset because not too many 21-year-olds make the Ryder Cup team," Woods said.

"I don't have a spouse or a girlfriend so they wondered if one of them could take that spot. But that is not the policy. My dad will be watching on the television.''

There was good news for Ballesteros in the performance on the first day of official practice of Jose Maria Olazabal, who was handed Martin's place but had been doubtful about his form. "Yes, he is not playing too good," Seve said. "He was only five under for the first seven holes.''

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