Ian Woosnam

Ian Woosnam will go down as one of the great golfers and Hi-Tec are extremely proud to count Ian as one of our sponsored players.

His contributions to Golf and in particular the Ryder Cup are outstanding achievements and Ian continues to excite crowds with his golfing talent.

He was one of the "Big Five" generation of European golfers, all born within 12 months of one another, all of whom have won majors, and made Europe competitive in the Ryder Cup. His peers in this group were Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle.

Biography

Woosnam was born in the town of Oswestry, Shropshire in England, and his family lived in the nearby village of St Martin's in Shropshire. He started playing at the unique Llanymynech Golf Club, which straddles the Wales-England border. He is short for a male golfer at 5 ft 4 1⁄2 in (1.638 m), but he is a powerful hitter. He played as an amateur in regional competitions in the English county of Shropshire alongside Sandy Lyle.

Woosnam turned professional in 1976. His club, Llanymynech recounts the reaction of some members when he first announced his intention to go professional: "A group of former club mates and country player colleagues spent days pleading with him not to take such a drastic step because they reckoned he was no better than thousands of other single player amateurs, including themselves, and one day would come to regret the foolish decision." They were perhaps too pessimistic - although his early years as a professional were difficult. After qualifying for the European Tour, he spent the next five years driving around the continent in a VW camper van, living on baked beans. During this time he won only about £6,000, but he kept at it and was eventually rewarded with victory in the 1982 Swiss Open. His career had finally taken off and he came eighth on the Order of Merit (prize money list). He also finished in the top ten on the Order of Merit every year from 1983 to 1991 and again in 1993, 1996 and 1997, making thirteen times in all. In 1987 and 1990 he was first, and in the former year he set a world record for global tournament earnings of £1,062,662. Woosnam placed third in the 1986 Open Championship. In 1991, he reached the top of the Official World Golf Rankings, eventually spending a total of 50 weeks as World Number 1. In the same year, he emulated his British rivals, Sandy Lyle and Nick Faldo, by winning the Masters Tournament; the first person representing Wales to ever win a major championship. He has won 28 official money events on the European Tour and many other events around the world. Woosnam was a member of eight European Ryder Cup teams from 1983 to 1997. Despite not winning a singles match he accumulated an excellent overall record of 14 wins, 12 losses and 5 halves in 31 matches. He was a vice captain for the 2002 European team and was elected as captain for the 2006 Ryder Cup team, leading Europe to victory over the U.S. 18½–9½. This will be a one-off assignment as Nick Faldo was elected for 2008 at the same time. Woosnam was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis(AS) - a disease that affects the spine - in early 1987, which affects approximately 1 in 200 men and 1 in 500 women in Britain. In December that year, Woosnam won the first of his three BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year awards, which he went on to win in 1990 and 1991. Woosnam was awarded an O.B.E. in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List. On 1 June 2008, Woosnam won his first stroke play title in 11 years at the Parkridge Polish Seniors Championship at Kraków Valley Golf and Country Club, finishing with a course record 63. The tournament was his third appearance on European Seniors Tour, which he joined after turning 50 years old in March 2008. Woosnam would go on to win the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit that year becoming the only person to have won the Order of Merit on both the European Seniors Tour and the regular European Tour. In September 2010. Woosnam was inducted to the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife Glendryth have three children and live in Jersey, USA, but are frequent visitors to Wales.

Career Highlights

In 1987, Woosnam won a total of eight tournaments and topped the money list on the European Tour, becoming the first European to earn more than a million dollars in one season.

In 1988, he won the British PGA Championship. Three years and several more trophies later, he was ranked Number One in the world and a week later he was celebrating victory in one of the most prestigious tournaments in the golfing world - the 1991 US Masters title.

Some of his other big successes include the European Open (1988), the Scottish Open (1987 and 1990), the Irish Open (1988 1989), the Dunhill Cup (1985-1986, 1988-1991, 1993).

He has also played consistently in the PGA European Tour Events and has represented Wales more than 15 times in the World Cup.

All in all, Ian has won 28 titles on the European Tour.

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