Woosnam backs Donald decision

Former Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam reckons Paul McGinley made the right decision in leaving Luke Donald out of his team.

McGinley opted for Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher as his wildcard picks.

Woosnam has his own experience with controversial picks, famously leaving Thomas Bjorn out of the 2006 Ryder Cup, but Europe went on to win that contest convincingly and Woosnam believes a captain must follow his own gut feeling on such matters.

“It is a shame you have to leave out someone like Luke Donald but that is how it goes, I don’t think he’s holed enough putts all year to warrant a pick,” said Woosnam.

“In my time I had three people in my mind: it came down to either Thomas Bjorn, Westwood and Clarke and I’d already picked Clarke.

“It was a hard decision but what persuaded me was I felt Westwood would go better with Clarke, especially in the time of grieving Darren was going through (having lost wife Heather to cancer weeks earlier), and everything worked out.

“Lee partnered Darren in two matches and Darren won all his points that week. You have a gut feeling, you feel who is going to play well under pressure.

“I think with Thomas at the K Club he had a couple of issues with a hole there (the previous year he drove into water at the 17th three times to run up an 11 when leading the European Open) and that sometimes put bad memories in your head.”

Woosnam also gave a frank appraisal of Tiger Woods’ absence from the upcoming contest at Gleneagles, now just over three weeks away.

“How many times has Woods been in a winning team?” Woosnam asked rhetorically.

“I think Europe are fearing more that Woods is not in the team because the USA might be without him.

“The Europeans will be looking at the American team and seeing how they are as unit and how they play together.”