Azinger slams 'unpopular' Ryder rival Faldo

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The Independent Online

The American Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger has laid into his European counterpart Nick Faldo, claiming that many players want "nothing to do with him".

Last year, the pair shared a TV commentary booth on the US Tour, but yesterday Azinger ignited what was always likely to be a lively countdown to this September's match.

"The bottom line is that the players from his generation and mine really don't want to have anything to do with him," Azinger said. "He did what he did as a player and there are relational consequences. Nick Faldo has tried to redefine himself. I'd say he is both who he is and who he was. Some people have bought it. Some have not."

Elsewhere, at Rancho Mirage, California, the women's world No 1 Lorena Ochoa hit four birdies, including three in a row, to emerge with a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The first-round leader and former British Open champion Karen Stupples struggled for the second consecutive day, carding a two-over 74 to be six strokes off the lead.