The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
Woosnam agrees with Donald Ryder Cup snub
Ian Woosnam says he fully agrees with Paul McGinley’s decision to leave Luke Donald out of the Ryder Cup team due to his recent putting issues.
McGinley was tasked with choosing three wildcard picks and opted for Lee Westwood, Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter in a move which was only surprising due to Luke Donald’s exclusion.
Woosnam, speaking to Sky Sports, said: "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.”
Woosnam is no stranger to making tough, sometimes controversial decisions. In 2006 he famously left Thomas Bjorn out of the Europe team, much to the Dane’s displeasure. Woosnam stood staunchly by his pick, however, and now believes that McGinley needs to do the same and not listen to negative press.
"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,” he said. "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."
And Woosnam was unmoved when asked about Tiger Woods’ omission from the USA team due to injury, saying: "How many times has Woods been in a winning team?
“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."