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Questions For Ian Woosnam

Feb. 14, 2005
Feb. 14, 2005

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Feb. 14, 2005

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Questions For Ian Woosnam

After Bernhard Langer dropped out, Woosnam and Nick Faldo emerged as the favorites to be the next European Ryder Cup captain

SI: HAS YOUR NOCTURNAL LIFESTYLE AFFECTED YOUR GAME?

This is an article from the Feb. 14, 2005 issue

IW: NOT REALLY. I HAVE THE ODD SESSION, BUT I CAN'T DRINK ANYMORE. I'M ON THE VERGE OF GETTING DIABETES, SO IF I HAVE A SESSION, I'M DEAD FOR THREE DAYS. I DON'T DRINK AS MUCH AS I USED TO BECAUSE I CAN'T.

SI: Faldo boasts of mentoring many of the young European stars. Does that give him an edge over you?

IW: I know those guys really well, too. I've been playing with them for a long time and [grinning] go out with them for a Coca-Cola now and again. What I'm worried about is if I don't get the captaincy this time and end up on the senior tour [he turns 50 in '08] and I won't be involved with them.

SI: How did winning the Masters change your life?

IW: I got a lot more attention, and it made me uncomfortable. I don't like walking into a restaurant and hearing people say, 'Oh, there's Ian Woosnam'; I hate being stared at.

SI: Is that why you left your hometown in Wales and moved to Jersey in the Channel Islands?

IW: Yeah. I'd go into the pub, and they'd say, 'Go on, Woosie, you've made all this money, buy us a pint.' I'd say, 'You work hard for what you get, and I work hard for what I get, why should I buy you a drink?' You've got to learn to cope with that and keep your mouth shut. Sometimes I can't, that's why I get into trouble. I've been fortunate in Jersey. They seem to respect me there.

SI: But you got into a scuffle in a pub in Jersey not long ago.

IW: We'd had a few too many before we went in. I had a wallet that Sam Torrance had given us at the Ryder Cup, a blue leather one. I pulled it out, and some guy said, 'There's that flash bastard Woosie.' I turned around and said, 'Who's that?' No one said anything, so I took a swipe at all of them. Ended up getting thrown out, clothes ripped to pieces. I took a few blind swings that went nowhere. I could hardly stand up, never mind hit anybody. Couldn't have swatted a fly.

SI: Do such incidents hurt your Cup chances?

IW: No. I've been a pro for 29 years and have had a couple of incidents. You can't hold that against me. That's got nothing to do with golf.

SI: If you get the captaincy, are you prepared for all the inevitable Boozy Woosie stories in the tabloids?

IW: It's only going to be old news, isn't it?

SI: As long as you don't do anything else.

IW: Right. I might punch a few people. They're only fish-and-chips papers anyway. People know my character. They know I like to have a beer. It's the way I am. It's not to say I can't do the job.

--Eamon Lynch

KEY STAT

38

Number of one-putts by Phil Mickelson at the FBR Open, the most in the field.

COLOR PHOTOACTION IMAGES/WIREIMAGE.COM (WOOSNAM)