U.S. need Ryder change – Woosie
Ian Woosnam has described his Ryder Cup captaincy role as one of the most memorable achievements.
Ian Woosnam has described his captaincy role in Europe’s record victory in the 2006 Ryder Cup as one of the greatest moments of his golf career.
But if you ask him if he would like to see the Americans beaten so easily again you can be sure he’ll give you a resounding no!
He made that clear in an interview this week when he told ICWales.co.uk that the Ryder Cup needs to become competitive again after both his 2006 and Bernhard Langer’s 2004 Ryder Cup teams had thrashed the Americans 18½-9½.
“The closer it is, the better the spectacle,” he said, indicating that in his view, the Ryder, previously one of sports great international spectacles, was under threat as the Americans continue to under perform in their biennial battle with Europe.
Did he have any answers.
Yes, he might have one or two, he believes.
“For starters America must get their Ryder Cup qualification system right,” the former Masters champion and World No 1 insisted
“I have to admit there were times at the K Club when I felt a little sorry for my US counterpart Tom Lehman when I saw all that European blue on the scoreboard.
“Tom did everything he possibly could, but the way his team was chosen for him didn’t make it a level playing field.
“In Europe, Ryder Cup points are based on prize-money and world ranking points and you get points no matter where you finish.
“In America, only the top-ten (in every event) get Ryder Cup points and you get more points winning a small event than being top five in a major.
“Now that’s ridiculous.”
Woosnam didn’t say it in so many words but one of the anomalies he might have highlighted in the US system was when John Rollins earned more points for winning the BC Open than Chris Di Marco did for being runner-up to Woods at The Open Championship in Royal Liverpool on the same weekend
“Their system is all wrong,” said Woosnam. “I can’t understand why they don’t have the same system as us.”
The USA were unbeatable in 13 Ryder Cup matches from 1959-83, but ever since the continental stars were brought in to join British and Irish in an all-European team, the Americans have won just three times in 11.
“It’s worrying that Europe are so far ahead at the moment,” said Woosnam.
“For the spirit of competition and the good of the tournament, it needs to be closer.
“The last two Ryder Cups have been unbelievable for us, but it’s more exciting and gripping when there’s just one or two points in it.
“TV viewers aren’t so interested when it seems the match is over half way through the final day.
“So it’s up to the US PGA to restore the competitive nature that has made the Ryder Cup what it is.”
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