Woosnam Names Ryder Cup Vice-Captains


European captain Ian Woosnam named Ireland's Des Smyth and England's Peter Baker as his Vice Captains for the 2006 Ryder Cup on Wednesday.
Smyth played for the European Ryder Cup team in 1979 and 1981. He combined to post a 2-5 record, while both matches were won by the United States. His biggest win came when he paired with Jose Maria Canizares to trounce Bill Rogers and Bruce Lietzke, 6 & 5.
The Irishman collected 19 worldwide wins before turning 50. Smyth has become a regular on the Champions Tour since turning 50 and he collected his first two wins on that circuit earlier this year.
'Des is a very close friend of mine and I've been very close friend of Des for a long time,' said Woosnam. 'We shared a room when I was a very young lad, we shared a room together, and we've been close ever since. I spoke to him and asked him if he would be the Ryder Cup vice captain, or one of the vice captains, and he was over the moon and overjoyed to be part of the Ryder Cup.'
Baker, a three-time winner on the European Tour, played in the 1993 Ryder Cup when the United States team rallied from a one-point deficit to win 15-13.
Baker teamed with Woosnam to pound Fred Couples and Paul Azinger, 6 & 5, in the Saturday afternoon Fourballs. That win helped give the Europeans an 8 1/2-7 1/2 lead entering the final round.
'I've played with Peter in the Ryder Cup, and he is a very close friend,' Woosnam said. 'I spent a lot of time on the European Tour with him and he's very popular with all of the players.'
Woosnam went on to say that Sandy Lyle 'is going to be assistant to the advice captains.' Lyle will be joined in that role by D.J. Russell.
The announcement came prior to the Smurfit European Open, which will be played this weekend at The K Club. The K Club is slated to host the 36th Ryder Cup matches in 2006.