Dec 8th, 2016
Thomas Bjorn announces review of Ryder Cup selection process
And he’s only been in the job for less than a day!
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Thomas Bjorn had only been Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for less than a day when he announced that the selection process is going to be reviewed to make sure he has all the players he wants.
Bjorn, a vice-captain when Europe lost to the USA at Hazeltine, said a full-scale review into selection policy and planning is being undertaken by the Ryder Cup committee.
It is clear that Bjorn does not want a repeat of the situation that denied Darren Clarke the services of Paul Casey in the autumn because the Englishman had not taken up his membership of the European Tour.
“There’s a lot of nuances into this and they all need to be looked at,” Bjorn said. “Selection will be reviewed, and it should be, because the world and the game of golf is a moving thing. But we’re in no immediate rush and no panic to do it. We’ll look at it carefully. We might stay where we are but we might also come up with a few tweaks. Almost the biggest task at hand is not to get too panicked about not having the trophy on this side of the Atlantic at the moment. There’s so many aspects but I’m just trying to gather all the information to set out a plan.”
There were many factors behind the loss at Hazeltine, but the fact that an in form Casey was not available, has to be seen as a factor.
“I will go forward with what our players want and what we’re all about as a team. I also have my own thinking and concerns about what I can bring to it, and will give it my own twist,” said the 45-year-old Bjorn, who played for the European team in three separate decades – 1997, 2002 and 2014 – and was on the winning side every single time.
“We’ve been very successful in the past, and let’s not go away from that. We’ve won eight out of the last 11, it’s not like we have a system that’s faulty, and we always play against a very strong team.”
Bjorn gave the 2006 captain Ian Woosnam both barrels after he denied him a wildcard in 2006. He has been a Ryder Cup vice-captain four times and is he intends to do the job his own way.
“I’m grateful for all the past captains and the support I’ve had from them, and it’s nice for Ian to come out and be so supportive,” Bjorn said. “It’s a long time ago, so we go forward and we understand this is about Europe and the European team. So we all get behind those 12 players that need to play, and that’s a good thing. I’ve never been one for liking having things around me where people are trying to just say yes to me. I want them to tell me the truth. I think if you’re going to be forthright yourself, then you want the same from everyone else. That’s the way I believe in things and that’s what I expect for all the people I have around me.”