Woosnam happy to break with the Jacklin tradition
Sunday 16 July 2006
For only the second time in 25 years, Ian Woosnam will not be at The Open, but as the incumbent European Ryder Cup captain the Welshman will still be in the news. And the revelation that he is going to employ revolutionary techniques in forming his pairings will be raising eyebrows as the field gather.
"I'm going to be texting the players," said the 48-year-old. "I'll ask them, 'Can you text me the three players you'll prefer to play with, and why?' I care about their opinions and want the truth. I'll take players' advice on board and be very much a players' captain. But everybody should be prepared to play with anybody and if they don't, that will create a rift straight away."
Former captains such as Tony Jacklin have advocated the need for a successful leader to be his own man and essentially to keep his own counsel. Woosnam obviously does not agree, favouring a controlled brand of "player power". "I'll talk to them all individually; what sort of strategy, anything you'd like in regard to changing the course, and once the team is sorted it'd be nice to have their input," he said. "If everyone mingles and discusses tactics we'd feel more of a team."
Although Woosnam will be at home in Jersey he will be watching on television, as he believes "you can see more from your front room". He will not be too worried who wins, but more how his squad perform. "A European not winning a major this year doesn't matter at all to September's match," he maintained. "But it is important for my boys to be in form. At the US Open we were hot and the Americans weren't. We need to keep that going."
Not that Woosnam expects as demanding a test as Winged Foot. Anything but, in fact. "Hoylake needs a bit of wind because without it it'd be pretty easy and the big hitters would eat the course for breakfast," he said. "I played there a month or so ago and the fairways might be small, but without wind they're not that difficult to hit and as the ball bounces so far, there could be some very low scores."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on Liverpool manager being sacked, despite Jurgen Klopp announcement
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Charles Kennedy dead: Former Lib Dem leader dies at home aged 55 - latest news
- 3 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
- 4 Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 5 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history