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Thomas Bjorn unhappy at Ryder Cup omission

European Ryder Cup hopeful Thomas Bjorn launched an angry attack on captain Ian Woosnam on Monday after being overlooked for a wild card for the Sept. 22-24 match against the United States in Ireland.

Denmark's Bjorn, an experienced Ryder Cup player, was thought to have a firm case to be one of Woosnam's two selections to join the 10 players who automatically qualified.

Instead the Welshman awarded the places to Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood, both of whom also have strong records in the match.

"I feel gutted," the 35-year-old Bjorn told reporters. "I think he has been very poor. A friend of mine he isn't -- and I don't have a problem saying that.

"He's not taken charge of the captaincy in the way I see a captain should take charge and it's disappointing.

"He's put a lot of guys through misery by not talking to them."

Bjorn added: "If the choice had been made only on competitive results, I could go along with it.

"But I'm in front of Lee in all the rankings, I have played better than him in the qualifying phase and then Woosnam bases his decisions on results which are more than five years old."

Bjorn was a member of the victorious 1997 Ryder Cup team with Woosnam, Clarke and Westwood. He also played in the winning 2002 lineup.

"He never called me (before or after announcing Westwood as his pick). He came into the bar at the hotel and gave me 20 seconds about Lee having won twice at the K Club. In a bar -- that kind of sums it up," Bjorn continued.

"He can't walk up to me, tell me in 20 seconds and expect me to be happy. I'm very disappointed. I think he's been very poor in the way he's handled the players.

"I want the team to play their best and win. They have a great chance and they need to stick together. But I don't care about Woosie."

Woosnam had earlier said he knew Bjorn was unhappy to be left out.

"Thomas was in the back of my mind. It was difficult when I got back to the hotel last night, he wasn't a happy chappy," Woosnam, who made the announcement at the end of the BMW International Open in Munich on Sunday, told BBC Radio Five.

September 5, 2006


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