Golf: Woosnam sours Ryder success by criticising Ballesteros

The euphoria which surrounded European golf's thrilling Ryder Cup triumph was somewhat punctured yesterday when Ian Woosnam broke ranks to reveal that he had not enjoyed the tournament and launched a scathing attack on Seve Ballesteros's style of captaincy.

Victory apart, Ian Woosnam did not exactly enjoy his eighth Ryder Cup. The reason, he firmly believes, was Seve Ballesteros's style of captaincy, as he revealed in no uncertain terms yesterday when he became the first team member to sour the success with critical comments.

Clearly from the school that believes that if you don't like the way something is done, do it yourself, Woosnam has thrown his hat in the ring to take over from the Spaniard as captain for the next match in 1999.

Ballesteros did not overuse Woosnam at Valderrama, but the Welshman does not know why. The 39-year-old has the best fourball record in the history of the event, with 10 wins in 14 outings, but he played only once, winning with Thomas Bjorn, before the singles, where he collapsed to Fred Couples 8 and 7.

Woosnam, who today faces Jesper Parnevik in the first round of the World Match Play Championship here, is still far from a state of gruntlement. Bristling, more like it.

"I have been part of the Ryder Cup team many times and I didn't particularly enjoy it this time," he said. "I was on a high after we won and I felt very pleased for the lads who had not played before. But I had been there before. It was just another one for me. Just a memory.

"I would just like to have had a reason why I didn't play more. Seve did not talk to me about it, not even on the Sunday night. If he had said to me I am not playing well, or asked what my feelings were I would have felt a bit happier about it."

Not being told he was not playing was what upset Woosnam most. "It wasn't just me," he said. "Everybody was in the same boat. Seve had his own way of doing it."

When Ballesteros had said his players could find out on television who was playing, it was not a joke, apparently. "That was right. At the end of the day it worked, yeah," Woosnam sighed.

"If I was captain, I would be more in touch with my players. I would be wanting to feel how they were feeling. Give them the opportunity if they weren't playing well to say, `I am not playing that well'. In all the Ryder Cups I played before, there has been communication. I just didn't feel there was any this time."

A decision on who takes over from Ballesteros, who stated immediately after the match at Valderrama that he wanted to return to the ranks, may be deferred until the qualifying for the 1999 match starts next September.

"I will have to see how I go, but I would love to be captain," Woosnam said. "It would be something great to do."

Ballesteros, who is playing with Jose Maria Olazabal in the Open Novotel Perrier Four-ball in Bordeaux this week, did not agree with Woosnam. He said: "I think I was a good captain. I talked to the players a lot and asked them their opinions, though I always had the final decision. I did what I thought was best for the team. I gave them 100 per cent."

The view of at least one other player immediately after the event was at odds with Woosnam's. Antonio Garrido, a compatriot of Ballesteros who was playing in his first Ryder Cup, said: "He was not a captain, he was like a father for us. We put our hands on the clubs but he was the one who played the shots."

Woosnam, who won the Volvo PGA on the same course here in May, has been World Match Play champion twice but his chance of calling the shots this time is diminished by the prospect of facing the three-time defending champion Ernie Els, who awaits the winner of Woosnam's match against Parnevik in Friday's second round.

The South African is on a nine-game winning streak in the competition and the saturated course should suit the powerful 27-year-old even more than usual. He is also fresh from a five-week break.

"Wentworth has been good to me in the past," Els said. "I've got no idea why. I enjoy the golf course and, in matchplay, I just go out to beat the other guy."

The 36-hole format helps, especially when you can overturn a six-hole deficit at lunchtime, as Els did against Steve Stricker last year.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?