Straight talk will be key to Thomas Bjorn’s European captaincy

Thomas Bjorn insists he does not need to change his “forthright” personality to lead Europe to Ryder Cup glory in 2018.
Straight talk will be key to Thomas Bjorn’s European captaincy

The new Europe captain confirmed the team’s selection criteria for the 2018 contest in France will now be reviewed, after Paul Casey was left ineligible for September’s heavy defeat to the USA at Hazeltine.

The ever-candid Bjorn hit out at then-captain Ian Woosnam in 2006 when overlooked for a wildcard, and the Welshman nearly quit his role over the criticism.

Woosnam has immediately backed Bjorn’s leadership this week, however — and Bjorn insists his captaincy will be based on truth and honesty.

“I think if you’re going to lead something you want the truth, you want people to be honest with you,” Bjorn said. “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.”

Fiery Dane Bjorn branded Woosnam “the most pathetic captain I’ve ever seen”, “barmy”, and “not burdened with too many leadership qualities” when overlooked for the 2006 team.

Woosnam met Bjorn’s appointment as Ryder Cup captain this week by throwing his full weight of support behind the 15-time European Tour winner.

And Bjorn believes that underscores the value a frank and open approach can add to his captaincy role.

“It’s fantastic to have his support,” said Bjorn of Woosnam’s backing.

“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. It’s a long time ago, so we go forward and we understand that this is about Europe, and the European team.”

Europe went into the 2016 Ryder Cup without Paul Casey, because the in-form Englishman had not taken up his membership of the European tour. The USA pulled off a crushing 17-11 win, subjecting Europe to their first defeat since 2008 and their heaviest since 1981.

Bjorn confirmed Ryder Cup bosses will now conduct a full-scale review into selection policy and other areas of planning, but insisted it was too early to discuss details.

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