Players leap to Faldo's defence after Azinger attack

Aspiring members of Nick Faldo's Ryder Cup team leapt to the Europe captain's defence yesterday following criticism from his American counterpart Paul Azinger. Five months before the tournament in Louisville, Azinger claimed that players want nothing to do with Faldo, saying, "He did what he did as a player, and there are relational consequences."

Darren Clarke, however, said Faldo will make a "sensational" captain, while Paul McGinley, who resigned as an assistant captain last September, said he is "100 per cent" behind Faldo. Clarke, a member of the last five Ryder Cup sides and the hero two years ago when he won all his three games a few weeks after the death of his wife, said: "Nick kept himself to himself. He's always been like that. He was a very focused individual when he played. But it won't affect how people play for him. He's a six-time major champion – the best player we've ever had. Whether people like him or loathe him – and it's pretty obvious you have people in both camps – you cannot disrespect at any stage what he has done in the game."

Clarke and McGinley are both members of the European Tour players' committee which recommended Faldo for the captaincy. Another, Barry Lane, said: "Azinger is really stirring it up. Nick never really endeared himself, because he was absolutely focused on his game and his life. But what he achieved was phenomenal, and personality should not come into it."

Meanwhile, the American Johnson Wagner won the Houston Open by two strokes after a final-round 71 on Sunday to earn a place in the Masters. However, Davis Love III, who played in 70 successive majors, closed with 73 for a five-under 283 and did not qualify for Augusta.

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk