Golf: US name Wadkins captain

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The Independent Online
THE United States yesterday appointed Lanny Wadkins to succeed Tom Watson as their Ryder Cup captain. Wadkins, who is 44 next Sunday, has a hard act to follow after Watson led the Americans to a 15-13 victory at The Belfry in September to retain the trophy.

One of Watson's two wild card choices for that match, Wadkins had been widely expected to be given the job in line with the US PGA's policy of changing captains for every match.

Wadkins made his Ryder Cup debut in 1977, but did not compete in the singles at The Belfry after offering to stand down when Sam Torrance was unable to play because of a toe injury. His cup record - 20 wins from eight campaigns - is excellent.

Europe decided to stick to the status quo. Last week they reappointed Bernard Gallacher whose leadership had been criticised by his predecessor, Tony Jacklin.

Meanwhile in Sun City, Bophuthatswana, the Million Dollar Challenge begins today and for the two Nicks, Faldo and Price, completing the tournament might be counted an achievement. A year ago the pair were disqualified after the third round, Price for refusing to sign his card and Faldo for signing his card incorrectly.

Faldo's chances of finishing first in a strong 12-man field will be hampered by the tendinitis in his arms, from which he has not recovered despite resting for the past three weeks.

The field includes two of the year's four Major winners, the Masters champion Bernhard Langer, who won at Sun City in 1991, and the US Open holder, Lee Janzen. Langer is paired with Frost while Janzen's playing partner is Ian Woosnam.

Woosnam, who finished third in the 1993 European Order of Merit, has been struggling recently and suffered a severe stomach upset on arrival in South Africa. His first practice round lasted for two holes but he managed a full 18 in yesterday's pro-am, outscoring Faldo by three strokes with a level-par 72.