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Woosie for Captain - No Brainer!

How Europe can win the Ryder Cup back by Imagine Golf's Rhodri Williams

Posted Jan 27, 2009 by Rhodri Williams

USA winning the Ryder Cup

 Unless Ian Woosnam really doesn’t want the job as Ryder Cup Captain when the biennial tournament comes to Celtic Manor, Wales next year then for goodness sake just give him the job.
The Ryder Cup committee met for almost four hours in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago and failed to come to a decision on who will Captain the side. They will now reconvene on 28 January and plan to name their choice the following day. What the hell are they discussing?

I have no doubt that Jose Maria Olazabal (his manager has now officially said that the Spaniard is interested) or Sandy Lyle would be great captains but let’s face it, Woosie has done it before with great success at the K Club in Ireland. Europe is trying to bounce back from a right hammering in Kentucky and this time it’s in Wales. Put the ‘King’ of golf in Wales in charge. Maybe the decision makers are underestimating the role the Welsh support will play next year. It will be a cauldron at the Manor. The Welsh are passionate about their sport and they will not look at this as a European Challenge; more a Welsh one. The crowd would see the team as Woosie’s warriors.  The atmosphere will be intense and uncompromising and Woosie as well as the players would thrive on it.

Many actually question the importance of a captain but I think the defeat at Valhalla highlights it perfectly. Nick Faldo is Europe’s most successful golfer with six majors. Nobody can take that away from him. However Faldo is not a leader of men. Faldo leads himself and is caught up in his own self-importance. I’m not saying that is good or bad but what I will say, it is not conducive to creating the right feeling, vibe, togetherness, call it what you like, that is required to win the Ryder Cup.

Even before the first ball was hit I said to my friend and co-blogger Tom that I felt Europe would get hammered. Colin Montgomerie had not been at the top of his game but his pedigree speaks volumes and he should have travelled in some capacity. The same went for Darren Clarke; a player who generates a wonderful team spirit. That is what the Ryder Cup is all about. I’m sorry but I just can’t accept that picking off a money list is the right way to go about it. It is more than that and it is what Nick Faldo or the committee fail to see. Playing in your own little world in stroke play is very different to match play at whichever level you play.
The United States have named former US Open champion Corey Pavin as captain. Under Paul Azinger, the US regained the Ryder Cup last year after three successive victories for Europe.

Anyway who cares about the Yanks? I care about Europe and I care about Wales. We are hosting the most important team golf event in the world. Wales has a great golfing tradition. Let’s go back to the days of Dai Rees. He won 4 British PGA Championships and was runner up in 3 Opens. He was "the best golfer never to have won the Open". However his moment of glory came in 1957 when he captained the Ryder Cup team which brought the title back to Europe after 22 years. He became a national celebrity and was awarded a C.B.E and was voted Sportsman of the Year. In all, Rees played in 9 Ryder Cups.

And thanks to Wales, golfers all around the world now use the Stableford scoring system which has become a key attraction of the sport. In the last years of the 19th century at his Golf Club in Glamorgan, South Wales a Dr. Stableford became concerned that the scoring system in the increasingly popular game of golf was actually unfair. With previous methods of scoring, a bad hole could ruin an entire round, so he devised a system that reflected the golfer's whole round, enabling him (or her) to recover a lost game. Thanks to Dr. Stableford, the game of Golf has achieved massive popularity.

So I think that’s enough to be getting on with. Make Woosie the Ryder Cup Captain again as Wales get ready to put on the greatest golfing show ever at Celtic Manor next year.

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