Update: In an interview with SI’s Gary Van Sickle on Sunday night, Azinger called the story in The Daily Mail inaccurate and said it distorted his quotes.
If you like your Ryder Cup with a little bite, you’re going to love Valhalla this September.
It is well known that the U.S. captain, Paul Azinger, and the European captain, Nick Faldo, have had a frosty relationship through the years, first as players and then as broadcasters. Considering that neither man would ever be called reticent, we thought it was just a matter of time before one of them couldn’t hold his tongue any longer. Well, that time is now.
In an interview with the British newspaper The Daily Mail, Azinger took aim at Faldo’s transformation from aloof player to affable Golf Channel broadcaster. Zinger, for one, isn’t buying it.
"Nick Faldo has tried to redefine himself," Azinger said. "I’d say he is both who he is and who he was. Some people have bought it. Some have not. But if you’re going to be a p***k and everyone hates you, why do you think that just because you’re trying to be cute and funny on air now that the same people are all going to start to like you?
"The bottom line is that the players from his generation and mine really don’t want to have anything to do with him. He did what he did as a player and there are relational consequences."
Trading insults in the papers is a far cry from 2006 U.S. captain Tom Lehman’s team-bonding barbecues, but the U.S. team could use the edge Azinger clearly intends to bring. It’s not like things can get any worse for the Americans, who have lost five of the past six cups and were embarrassed, 18 1/2 to 9 1/2, in 2006 and 2004.