LONDON(AP) One headline branded the outcome “Faldo Folly.” Another deemed him “Captain Calamity.”
European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo was under siege Monday after his team’s loss to the United States. Faldo, a six-time major winner, was belittled for his player selections.
“Nick Faldo, not the crowd, was America’s 13th Man,” the Daily Maily said of his role in Europe’s 16 1/2-11 1/2 loss in Louisville, Ky.
The Times of London said that while U.S. captain Paul Azinger instilled belief in his team, “Faldo inspired chaos.”
The Times assailed Faldo for using his most successful players – Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell – near the end of Sunday’s singles matches rather than at the beginning. That meant the overall result was decided by the time they won their matches.
“Buzzing around the 17th green, the United States players extolled the team-bonding skills of Azinger,” the Times said.
“Faldo’s thin skin, the need to have his sports shrink by his side even out on the course and his grating sense of humor, had confirmed what we knew all along, which is that he is no natural leader,” the paper said. “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.”
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.”
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 ego.
“Faldo’s gamble on the big finish … left Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington, thrashing at thin air, their legs amputated by a hopelessly incontinent ego,” it said.
The Telegraph said the Valhalla fallout would leave Faldo “about to pay the price of a lifetime of self serving, of devotion to the cult of the individual.”