BIG MISTAKE, MR AZINGER

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Paul Azinger has already made an enormous gaff in the run-up to this year’s Ryder Cup – and it’s not likely to be the temperamental US captain’s last either.

Paul Azinger has already made an enormous gaff in the run-up to this year’s Ryder Cup – and it’s not likely to be the temperamental US captain’s last either.
Right now he is trying to put out the fire he lit with that out-of-the-blue verbal bashing of his rival captain and former TV commentary associate Nick Faldo in a recent newspaper article by claiming that the newspaper made him sound more acrimonious than he had meant to be.
He told the Associated Press’s Dough Ferguson: “I spoke to Nick. It doesn’t surprise me that this sort of thing has happened. Nick and I have dealt with the media our entire career, and we have burned by the media at times. But Nick and I are friends, and we’ll be friends long after the Ryder Cup matches are over.”
Awe Fine, but that’s not the impression his comments, initially made to the Mail on Sunday, conveyed to the man in the street.
Azinger is reported to have said (and he has not denied saying it ): “Nick Faldo has tried to redefine himself.
“Some people have bought it. Some have not. But if you’re going to be a (expletive) and everyone hates you, why do you think that just because you’re trying to be cute and funny on air now that the same people are all going to start to like you?
“The bottom line is that the players from his generation and mine really don’t want to have anything to do with him.”
Now that’s about as nasty as you can get, which ever way you look at it, and I have to say I’m glad our Mr Azinger is not one of my friends.
If he knows the media as well as he says he does, he should have known better before he opened his mouth – unless, of course, he was deliberately trying to sew seeds of mistrust and discontent in the European camp where the strong bonds between its members have for long been a key element in their Ryder Cup successes
If, in fact, this was the case, he’s come horribly unstuck and has almost certainly produced the reverse effect.
Darren Clarke has quickly made it clear that all Azinger has done is make the blood run quicker in the veins of the European players Faldo will lead at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, come September when they defend the title they have twice won now by record margins .
Clarke, hero of Europe’s last victory at the K Club in Ireland in 2006, said he is 100 per cent behind Faldo who he believes will make a “sensational” Ryder Cup captain.

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