LONDON (Reuters) - Nick Faldo has lost the respect of Europe’s leading golfers after calling Sergio Garcia “useless” during their Ryder Cup victory over the United States at Gleneagles, Europe’s talisman Ian Poulter has said in his autobiography.
Working as a golf commentator for American television at this year’s Ryder Cup, six-time major winner Faldo said world number three Garcia was “useless” during Europe’s 2008 Ryder Cup defeat at Valhalla.
Englishman Poulter, writing in “No Limits” which was released this week, said the European team were furious with Faldo who was captain during the 2008 defeat.
“Sergio puts a brave face on it but the rest of the guys are fuming,” writes Poulter. “I’m shocked that he has said it. It’s highly disrespectful. It’s a cheap shot and it’s the worst possible timing.
“It makes me laugh. Faldo is talking about someone being useless at the 2008 Ryder Cup. That’s the Ryder Cup where he was captain. That’s the Ryder Cup where the Europe team suffered a heavy defeat.
“And he was captain. So who’s useless? Faldo might need to have a little look in the mirror. I have always got on great with Faldo in the past and I have a great deal of respect for everything he has achieved but this feels like sour grapes. It feels like a guy who is still bitter that he lost in 2008.
“Faldo has lost a lot of respect from players because of what he said. There were plenty of things a lot of the players were unhappy with at Valhalla but none of us criticized him. He may find that begins to change now.”
Europe cruised to a 16-1/2 to 11-1/2 victory at Gleneagles and U.S captain Tom Watson was on the receiving end of stinging criticism from Phil Mickelson who said there was a lack of team spirit in their ranks.
Poulter, who contributed one point to Europe’s victory but struggled to recapture the blistering form that earned four points at Medinah in 2012, was also surprised by some of Watson’s decisions.
“By the end of the second day we have a 10-6 lead,” writes Poulter. “Ecstatic as we are, quite a few of us are surprised by Watson’s decision-making during Saturday’s play. Most of all I’m astonished he does not play Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.
“He leaves them out of both sessions. It completely baffles me. It gives us a double boost because it tells us there are problems in the U.S team room.
“Watson’s choices mean seven of his players play 36 holes on Saturday. I find it hard to see the sense in that.”
Reporting by Michael Hann; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty