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

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map