The Faldo Follies 2008

Peter HughesSenior Analyst ISeptember 21, 2008

First, many congratulations to Paul Azinger and his team for their stupendous victory yesterday in Kentucky.

Captain Azinger led his side with passion, verve and tenacity to regain the Ryder Cup, and every member responded magnificently to the occasion.

Sadly, Nick Faldo did not measure up to his responsibilities in a like manner and chose to continue in the same mould displayed during his playing days.

He has always been self-obsessed, a loner, who preferred his own company to that of others, thus finding it most difficult to communicate with the outside world, in particular, the media.

There are reports he has changed his attitude in recent years in America, whilst seeking employment in that sphere, however on this side of the Atlantic, there are too many hacks who remember the Faldo of old.

How he was chosen to lead the European team is worthy of scrutiny.

History brings us back to 1981, when nomination was made by the PGA who chose John Jacobs for the post. The recipient was expected to pay up to 100 pounds of his own money for the accolade of being captain.

The following year, the European Tour usurped the Ryder Cup from the PGA and with it went many responsibilities, including the choice of captain.

Tony Jacklin was appointed four times, Bernard Gallacher thrice, before they decided to rotate the honour on a match basis.

Today, the incumbent can expect to prolong his career through entry to Senior Tours, sponsorship contracts, etc. etc. amounting to much financial rewards.

It was obvious Nick Faldo coveted the job through the efforts of those in his management. How he was selected is entirely another matter.

From the start of his reign, things began to go wrong. Paul McGinley resigned as vice-captain for reasons unknown, and Faldo failed to replace him. His dealings with the media went from bad to worse and when he attempted to extract himself with his own style of humour, it went down like a lead balloon.

During the past week or so, gaffe followed gaffe, culminating with his line up for the final singles which was disastrous.

He must shoulder the blame, although some of the responsibility must accrue to those who selected him. One wonders, will they learn the lesson?