Europe Names Next Two Ryder Cup Captains

By Golf Channel NewsroomMarch 2, 2005, 5:00 pm
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates-- Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo have been named to captain the European teams in the 36th and 37th Ryder Cup Matches, respectively. Woosnam has been selected to captain the squad in 2006 at The K Club in Ireland and Faldo in 2008 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
Making the decision was the Tournament Committee of The European Tour, ratified by The Ryder Cup Policy Board.
Ian Woosnam
Ian Woosnam is the third Welshman to be named Ryder Cup captain.
Woosnam, who celebrates his 47th birthday today - Wednesday, March 2 - becomes the 20th European captain and the third Welshman, following in the footsteps of Dai Rees (1955, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1967) and Brian Huggett (1977).
What a fantastic way to celebrate my birthday, Woosnam said. My wife, Glen, and I are absolutely delighted. The Ryder Cup has been a big part in our lives and it is a huge honor to be named captain of the European team. It makes me feel very proud, especially as Wales has such a great tradition of producing Ryder Cup captains.
Wales, in fact, is hosting the matches in 2010, but obviously the committee felt that was too long to make Woosnam wait.
Woosnam has played on eight Ryder Cup teams, ranging from 1983 to 1997, and was the assistant captain to Sam Torrance in 2002. He was bypassed by captain Bernhard Langer in 2004, but now will get his chance as captain in 2006.
I learned such a lot from working with and alongside Sam when we won at The Belfry in 2002 that I know it will stand me in good stead, said Woosnam. I also know it is going to be a tremendously hard job to follow straight after Bernhard, our winning captain from last year, but I will do my utmost to help the team at The K Club.
At the end of the day we want to win in Ireland and we want to keep both hands on Samuel Ryders trophy. But lets not forget that from a European viewpoint, Sam and Bernhard, in winning, also ensured that the true traditions of the game were upheld and that fair play and good sportsmanship were top of the agenda. My stance is that it should be no different at The K Club and I know Captain Tom Lehman and his American team will, like ourselves, look forward to a close, exciting and sporting contest.
In 1993 Woosnam became the first and so far only European Ryder Cup player to claim the maximum four points from the two foursomes and two fourball matches. He partnered Langer in the foursomes and Peter Baker in the fourballs.
There is nothing like winning The Ryder Cup, he said. I was lucky enough to enjoy that feeling five times as a player and once as assistant to Sam, and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to lead us to a successful defense next year.
'In fact I would like to create a little history. Europe has held The Ryder Cup three successive times because we tied in 1989 after winning in 1985 and 1987, but we have never won three successive matches. So I need to follow on from Sam and Bernhards fantastic achievements in 2002 and 2004.
Faldos selection for 2008 is somewhat unorthodox in that he has been named almost four years before the matches are played in the U.S. But it is a gesture towards the Englishman and the remarkable Ryder Cup record he has posted ' his record of 11 European teams, 46 matches and 25 points.
This is a proud day for both of us, Faldo said. It is a huge honor to be named captain of The European Ryder Cup team in 2008, and I cant say how excited I am at the prospect of leading the side in the United States.
The Ryder Cup has always been extremely important to me and I will look forward to planning for that match. But for now its Ians time, and I wish him the best for his captaincy.
Faldo will captain the team in the U.S. after spending most of the past 10 years living in Orlando, Fla. Faldo now lists a London suburb as his primary residence.
Ive spent a lot of my career in America, and Ive always enjoyed the support of the people and the challenge of competing on the other side of the pond, he said. I hope my profile and success in the United States will be an advantage to the European team.
The Ryder Cup is one of the most exciting and important competitions in the golfing calendar and never fails to inspire both team members and spectators alike. With 11 previous appearances, I have so many fond memories of my time as a player and am honored to be joining the list of great names that have captained the European team in the past. Having played under five different captains, I have picked up a few tips along the way and hope that I can draw on my own experiences to guide the European team to victory.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - 36th Ryder Cup Matches
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.