Sunday 22 October 2017

Garcia's team-mates reply to Faldo's 'useless' outburst

European Ryder Cup player Sergio Garcia has responded to Nick Faldo's criticism, commenting that,
European Ryder Cup player Sergio Garcia has responded to Nick Faldo's criticism, commenting that, "There's a lot of things I could say about Nick Faldo but I'm not going to put myself down to his level" (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh)
Europe's captain Nick Faldo during The Fourballs on Day One at Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, USA, Monday August 4, 2014. Nick Faldo's captaincy came in for heavy criticism when Europe lost the Ryder Cup for the only time this century at Valhalla in 2008 (Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

Carl Markham

Sergio Garcia's European team-mates sprang to his defence after former Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo criticised the Spaniard's performance six years ago as "useless".

While Faldo praised the 34-year-old's overall contribution to the biennial contest he also claimed the player had a "bad attitude" in 2008 - Europe's only defeat since 1999 - in scoring one point from four matches.

Brilliant

Garcia, whose brilliant five-wood approach to the 18th green helped him and Rory McIlroy somehow salvage a half from being two down with two to play against Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler, was reluctant to become embroiled in a row.

"Are you sure you didn't misquote him? That's unfortunate," he said. "I guess he doesn't feel European, that's the only thing I can think of.

"You know, there's a lot of things I could say about Nick Faldo but I'm not going to put myself down to his level."

Some of the senior players alongside Garcia in the press conference looked less than impressed that the upbeat mood of how Europe finished the day - with a 5-3 lead - had been brought down a notch by the issue.

"That's a great question. Okay. We'll take the euphoria we all have from today and just crush it," said Lee Westwood sarcastically.

But Garcia's team-mates were not prepared to leave him undefended and Graeme McDowell, in particular, felt it necessary to make a point about Faldo's contribution to that Ryder Cup.

The then captain rested both Garcia and Westwood on the Saturday after they had contributed a point from three matches on the previous day.

"I'll make a comment on that," said McDowell. "I'm a rookie playing the Ryder Cup in 2008 and you've got one of the best Ryder Cup pairings of all time being sat down on a Saturday morning of a Ryder Cup that we go on to lose.

"I'd say Sergio was fairly useless, yeah, because he wasn't able to play."

McIlroy, who asked to play with Garcia and struggled through 36 holes with him on the opening day, put his arm around Garcia, and said "You're not useless."

Garcia responded by saying: "Thanks, Nick, I love you, too."

Irish Independent

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