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22 Sep 2008 13:47
Nick Faldo faced a chorus of criticism at home on Monday after Europe’s lopsided Ryder Cup loss to the United States, with the media accusing the six-time Major winner of disastrous selections as team captain.
“Faldo Folly” and “Captain Calamity” were among the headlines in British papers.
“Nick Faldo, not the crowd, was America’s 13th Man,” the Daily Maily said of his role in Europe’s 16½ to 11½ loss at Valhalla.
The Times of London headlined that, while US captain Paul Azinger instilled belief in his team, “Faldo inspired chaos”.
The Times said Faldo blew it by selecting his most successful players—Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell—near the end of Sunday’s singles matches rather than at the beginning, which meant that the overall result was decided by the time they won theirs.
“Buzzing around the 17th green, the United States players extolled the team-bonding skills of Azinger,” the Times said. Meanwhile, Faldo waited for his best players to complete their meaningless rounds, his backloading of the singles having backfired spectacularly.
“Faldo’s thin skin, the need to have his sports shrink by his side even out on the course, and his grating sense of humour, had confirmed what we knew all along, which is that he is no natural leader.
But what we had not expected was that a man who had dedicated himself so much to this job would make such a colossal mistake.”
The Daily Mail said Faldo’s decision to put Poulter and McDowell near the end of the 12 matches was like “sending an aircraft carrier to a conflict that was already over”.
“His list will go down as one of the great leadership howlers and it confirmed the sense we had of Faldo being swept along by instinct and whim,” the Mail said.
The Telegraph said Faldo had used the Ryder Cup to feed his own ego.
“Faldo’s gamble on the big finish ...
The Telegraph said the Valhalla fall-out would leave Faldo “about to pay the price of a lifetime of self-serving, of devotion to the cult of the individual”.
Not just the papers criticized Faldo’s tactics.
Former European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher said Faldo got his singles selections wrong.
“I was worried about putting three top players at the bottom of the order,” said Gallacher, who lost two Ryder Cup matches and then won his third. “The top players should be at the top to get the points early.”—Sapa-AP
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