Woosie Wants More Euro Participation


CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland -- Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam is urging top players to compete more in Europe to improve their chances of making the 2006 team.
On the eve of the European Masters on Wednesday, Woosnam said he hoped to counter a trend where Europe's premiere players spend much of their time on the U.S. Tour.
Ian Woosnam
European captain Ian Woosnam poses with the Ryder Cup trophy Wednesday.
'I hope if these guys have the opportunity, they will come back to our tour to play,' Woosnam said. 'I want that sort of player to be on the team.'
The European Masters is the first event of the qualifying campaign for spots on the Ryder Cup, which will be held Sept. 22-24, 2006, at the K Club in Dublin, Ireland. The Europeans will defend the title they won by a record 18 1/2-9 1/2 margin against the United States last year at Oakland Hills outside Detroit.
Europe changed its selection process for the 2004 team, taking five top players from world ranking points, five from the European tour money list and two captain's picks. That means some key players could miss out.
Woosnam pointed to Luke Donald, who played extensively on the European Tour last year, won an event and got picked as a wild card.
'He got chosen because he made the effort to get into the team,' he said.
Woosnam said he intended to play with prospective team members over the next several months. His intention is largely 'getting to know what a person is like, his character and what sort of game he has. It's a captain's job to get to know these guys a bit more.'
Europe has won four of the last five Ryder Cups.
'In America they are very much individuals,' Woosnam said. 'That's what (U.S. captain) Tom Lehman's job is, to get them to play more as a team, practice together.'
Woosnam welcomed the recent decision by Justin Rose, third in last week's Buick Championship, to rejoin the European Tour next year.
'That's great. He played very well last week,' Woosnam said. 'I think Justin has a very good chance of making the team. It would be good for him to get in the team because he is a young lad and could be part of the Ryder Cup for a long time to come as well.'
Related links:
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  • Full Coverage - Omega European Masters

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