Faldo says James 'invented' story

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The Independent Online

The journalist behind Mark James' controversial Ryder Cup book has rejected Nick Faldo's claim that the former Ryder Cup captain "fabricated a story" to help sell copies.

The journalist behind Mark James' controversial Ryder Cup book has rejected Nick Faldo's claim that the former Ryder Cup captain "fabricated a story" to help sell copies.

James resigned as Ryder Cup vice-captain on Tuesday but Faldo refuses to let the feud lie and has urged the European Tour to discipline James for breaking the players' code of conduct. James revealed in his Ryder Cup diary Into The Bear Pit that he had binned a good-luck letter from Faldo after seeking the views of several people, including members of Europe's team.

Faldo is contesting James' version of events, claiming that only two people, neither of them team members, were present when the incident occurred. But the sportswriter Martin Hardy, who co-wrote the book with James, rejected Faldo's accusation that James' recollection of the letter-binning had been invented in order to stir up controversy and sell books.

"The way it is worded in the book, nowhere does it say he sought the views of all the players," said Hardy. "It actually says 'I decided to seek the views of a few other people including some of the players and everybody's reaction was the same - bin it'. I think Faldo would be best served by reading the book first."

In Stockholm, where the Scandinavian Masters begins today, two of Europe's leading players, Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood, expressed their disappointment at James' resignation. Clarke blamed Faldo for keeping the controversy going since James' book was published. "I'm very disappointed," Clarke said. "I think Mark James was a fantastic captain. He wrote a book to try and give an inside view of what went on. I've read most of the book and there was nothing particularly bad in it. He did a fantastic job as captain and he would have been equally good, if not better, as a vice-captain."

Westwood questioned the make-up of the Ryder Cup committee which contains just one person [Neil Coles] with playing experience in the competition. "I'm disappointed as I think Mark had a lot to offer and it's a shame that he won't be there to offer that experience," said Westwood. "I'm not surprised that he resigned. The matter had to be finalised but it's surprising that the initial vote [by the tournament committee] should be overturned."

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