Ryder Cup 'Squad' Gives Woosnam Plenty to Ponder
The Ryder Cup may be 12 months away but European Captain Ian Woosnam has already seen some potential qualifiers in action at the recent Seve Trophy, where nine players made their debuts in team golf as a professional.
30 September 2005
The countdown to The 2006 Ryder Cup may still have 12 months to run but European Captain Ian Woosnam has already had the benefit of seeing some potential partnerships in action during The Seve Trophy in North East England.
Great Britain and Ireland defeated Continental Europe by 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 at The Wynyard Club but from a Ryder Cup standpoint the 20 players in action could well be considered part of a squad from which the majority of the final 12 players will be chosen.
Eight of those playing at The Wynyard were on the record-breaking European Team who defeated the United States a year ago while a further three players have played in a number of past Ryder Cups. But for the nine other players, The Seve Trophy presented the first opportunity for them to compete in team golf as a professional.
"It is good preparation for the guys playing as part of a team squad," said Bradley Dredge, who made his first appearance in The Seve Trophy. "I would love to play in The Ryder Cup obviously and being in a team like this gives you an insight into playing team situations."
"The Seve Trophy certainly helped me in The Ryder Cup," said David Howell, who made an impressive Ryder Cup debut a year ago. "There is nowhere near the pressure in this but it still has the team aspect and served me well in America last year."
Howell made his Ryder Cup debut at Oakland Hills, teaming up with Paul Casey in the Saturday fourballs to secure a vital point over Chad Campbell and Jim Furyk, a result that swung the momentum firmly in Europe's favour and paved the way for the record victory.
That partnership of Casey and Howell was key to GB&I's success at The Wynyard as they hit back from the disappointment of a first day defecit in devastating fashion, winning their next four matches to finish joint top points scorers from the week.
They were joined at the top of the points table by Swede Henrik Stenson who made an impressive team debut as the only player undefeated through the five sessions, winning three matches and halving two. His great strength was his power and accuracy off the tee, attributes which will serve him well should he qualify for The K Club.
Stenson's partnership with Denmark's Thomas Bj?rn proved particularly potent as they remained unbeaten in the first three sessions.
From the Great Britain & Ireland camp Nick Dougherty showed huge potential, bouncing back from a first day defeat to win two and halve two of his remaining matches. For the first three days he played with Ryder Cup player Ian Poulter in what their captain Colin Montgomerie named the "Hollywood" pairing before partnering Montgomerie to a one hole victory in the foursomes which gave GB&I a slender one point lead going into the singles.
All 20 players contributed at least a point to their respective teams
"I expect a few on these players here this week who were not at Oakland Hills can look forward to playing at The K Club," concluded victorious GB&I captain Montgomerie.
Sunday Video Recap
Check out all the great highlights from Sunday's European victory. Watch
- 1969: Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus on the final hole of the final day.