Ian Woosnam

Ian Woosnam

Woosnam in 2009
Personal information
Full name Ian Harold Woosnam OBE
Nickname Woosie
Born (1958-03-02) 2 March 1958
Oswestry, England
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 4 12 in)
Weight 168 lb (76 kg; 12.0 st)
Nationality  Wales
Residence Jersey, Channel Islands
Spouse Glendryth (m. 1983)
Children Daniel, Rebecca, Ami
Turned professional 1976
Current tour(s) European Senior Tour
PGA Tour Champions
Former tour(s) European Tour
Professional wins 52
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 2
European Tour 29 (6th all time)
PGA Tour Champions 1
European Senior Tour 5
Other 16
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters Tournament Won: 1991
U.S. Open T2: 1989
The Open Championship T3: 1986, 2001
PGA Championship 6th: 1989
Achievements and awards
Officer of the Most
Excellent Order of
the British Empire
European Tour
Order of Merit winner
1987, 1990
European Tour
Player of the Year
1987, 1990
European Senior Tour
Order of Merit winner

Ian Harold Woosnam OBE (born 2 March 1958) is a Welsh professional golfer.

Nicknamed 'Woosie', 'Woosers', or the 'Wee Welshman', Woosnam 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, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, and Sandy Lyle.[1] Woosnam was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame and will be inducted in September 2017.[2]

Career outline

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.[3] He is short for a male golfer at 1.64 m (5 ft 4 12 in), 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 and first played the European Tour in 1979. Woosnam spent his early years on Tour driving around the continent in a camper van, living on a diet of baked beans to save money.[4] After three modest seasons, his career took off in 1982 when he won the Swiss Open and 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. He has won 28 official money events on the European Tour and many other events around the world.

Woosnam placed third in the 1986 Open Championship. In 1991, he reached the top of the Official World Golf Ranking, eventually spending a total of 50 weeks as World Number 1 (7 April 1991 – 21 March 1992). 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.[5][6]

After winning the Torras Monte Carlo Golf Open in 1991, Woosnam had a decline in form in the second half of the year and said that he was suffering from exhaustion after playing in too many tournaments across the world. In December 1991, his sterling silver Masters trophy, a $9,000 copy of the original, was stolen from a British train.[7]

Woosnam's last official European Tour victory was in the 1997 Volvo PGA Championship. In the late 1990s, his form began to fade, but he nearly made a spectacular comeback at The Open Championship in 2001, when he finished third despite suffering a two-stroke penalty for starting the final round with 15 clubs in his bag instead of the allowable maximum of 14. While his caddie, Miles Byrne, was responsible for this error, Woosnam surprisingly decided not to fire him stating: "It is the biggest mistake he will make in his life. He won't do it again. He's a good caddie. I am not going to sack him. He's a good lad."[8]

Ironically, Woosnam did fire his caddie two weeks later when, after a night drinking on the town, he failed to turn up to tee-time.[9] In the same year, at the age of 43, Woosnam became the oldest player to win the World Match Play Championship (not an official European Tour event at the time) when he beat Pádraig Harrington 2 & 1 in the 2001 final. Woosnam also became the first player to capture the trophy in three different decades, having previously won the World Match Play Championship in 1987 and 1990.[4] Woosnam had a record outward nine holes of 28 (-7) in the 2001 final against Harrington, which tied the tournament record of 7 successive birdies in a match.[10]

Woosnam was a member of eight consecutive European Ryder Cup teams from 1983 to 1997. Despite not winning a singles match he accumulated an 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, leading Europe to victory over the U.S. 18½–9½ at the K Club, County Kildare, Ireland.

Woosnam was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in early 1987,[11] which affects approximately 1 in 200 men and 1 in 500 women in Britain.[12] 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.[13]

Woosnam was awarded an O.B.E. in the 2007 New Years Honours List.[14] He now lives in Jersey.

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.[15] 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.[16]

After Woosnam missed the cut in the 2016 Masters Tournament, he said in an interview that this was his last Masters appearance, stating he's not fit enough to play with his bad back.[17]


Woosnam was criticised for playing a tournament in Sun City, North West in Apartheid South Africa, in contravention of the United Nations cultural moratorium.[18]

Professional wins (52)

European Tour wins (29)

Major championships (1)
Flagship event (2)
Other European Tour (26)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 29 Aug 1982 Ebel Swiss Open −16 (68-68-66-70=272) Playoff Scotland Bill Longmuir
2 5 Jun 1983 Silk Cut Masters −15 (68-69-67-65=269) 3 strokes Scotland Bernard Gallacher
3 8 Aug 1984 Scandinavian Enterprise Open −4 (71-70-69-70=280) 3 strokes United States Peter Teravainen
4 21 Sep 1986 Lawrence Batley International T.P.C. −11 (71-71-66-69=277) 7 strokes Scotland Ken Brown, Spain José Maria Cañizares
5 12 Apr 1987 Jersey Open −9 (68-67-72-72=279) 1 stroke United States Bill Malley
6 26 Apr 1987 Cepsa Madrid Open −19 (67-67-69-66=269) 3 strokes Australia Wayne Grady
7 11 Jul 1987 Bell's Scottish Open −20 (65-65-66-68=264) 7 strokes Australia Peter Senior
8 20 Sep 1987 Trophée Lancôme −24 (65-64-69-66=264) 2 strokes Zimbabwe Mark McNulty
9 30 May 1988 Volvo PGA Championship −14 (67-70-70-67=274) 2 strokes Spain Seve Ballesteros, England Mark James
10 21 Aug 1988 Carroll's Irish Open −10 (68-70-70-70=278) 7 strokes Spain Seve Ballesteros, England Nick Faldo,
Spain Manuel Piñero, Republic of Ireland Des Smyth
11 11 Sep 1988 Panasonic European Open −20 (65-66-64-65=260) 3 strokes England Nick Faldo
12 25 Jul 1989 Carroll's Irish Open −10 (70-67-71-70=278) Playoff Republic of Ireland Philip Walton
13 4 Mar 1990 Amex Med Open −6 (68-68-74=210) 2 strokes Spain Miguel Ángel Martín, Argentina Eduardo Romero
14 7 Jul 1990 Torras Monte Carlo Open −18 (66-67-65-60=258) 5 strokes Italy Costantino Rocca
15 14 Jul 1990 Bell's Scottish Open −15 (72-62-67-68=269) 4 strokes Zimbabwe Mark McNulty
16 30 Sep 1990 Epson Grand Prix of Europe −13 (65-67-67-72=271) 3 strokes Zimbabwe Mark McNulty, Spain José María Olazábal
17 3 Mar 1991 Fujitsu Mediterranean Open −5 (70-71-71-67=279) 1 stroke England Michael McLean
18 14 Apr 1991 Masters Tournament −11 (72-66-67-72=277) 1 stroke Spain José María Olazábal
19 6 Jul 1991 Torras Monte Carlo Golf Open −15 (67-66-61-67=261) 4 strokes Sweden Anders Forsbrand
20 4 Jul 1992 European Monte Carlo Open −15 (66-65-66-64=261) 2 strokes Zimbabwe Mark McNulty, Sweden Johan Ryström
21 22 Aug 1993 Murphy's English Open −19 (71-67-65-66=269) 2 strokes Italy Costantino Rocca
22 19 Sep 1993 Trophée Lancôme −13 (64-70-68-65=267) 2 strokes Scotland Sam Torrance
23 1 May 1994 Air France Cannes Open −17 (72-70-63-66=271) 5 strokes Scotland Colin Montgomerie
24 18 Sep 1994 Dunhill British Masters −17 (71-70-63-67=271) 4 strokes Spain Seve Ballesteros
25 28 Jan 1996 Johnnie Walker Classic −16 (69-68-69-66=272) Playoff Scotland Andrew Coltart
26 4 Feb 1996 Heineken Classic −11 (69-71-65-72=277) 1 stroke Republic of Ireland Paul McGinley, France Jean van de Velde
27 13 Jul 1996 Scottish Open +1 (70-74-70-75=289) 4 strokes Scotland Andrew Coltart
28 25 Aug 1996 Volvo German Open −20 (64-64-65=193) 6 strokes Germany Thomas Gögele, Sweden Robert Karlsson,
England Iain Pyman, Spain Fernando Roca
29 26 May 1997 Volvo PGA Championship −13 (67-68-70-70=275) 2 strokes Northern Ireland Darren Clarke, South Africa Ernie Els,
England Nick Faldo

European Tour playoff record (3–5)

1 1982 Ebel Swiss Open Scotland Bill Longmuir Won with par on third extra hole
2 1987 Suze Open Spain Seve Ballesteros Lost to par on first extra hole
3 1989 Wang Four Stars Australia Craig Parry Lost to birdie on first extra hole
4 1989 Carroll's Irish Open Republic of Ireland Philip Walton Won with birdie on second extra hole
5 1993 Honda Open England Paul Broadhurst, Sweden Johan Ryström,
Scotland Sam Torrance
Torrance won with birdie on first extra hole
6 1996 Johnnie Walker Classic Scotland Andrew Coltart Won with birdie on third extra hole
7 1997 Dubai Desert Classic Australia Richard Green, Australia Greg Norman Green won with birdie on first extra hole
8 1999 Linde German Masters Spain Sergio García, Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington García won with birdie on second extra hole
Woosman eliminated with par on first hole

PGA Tour wins (2)

Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (1)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 24 Mar 1991 USF&G Classic −13 (73-67-68-67=275) Playoff United States Jim Hallet
2 14 Apr 1991 Masters Tournament −11 (72-66-67-72=277) 1 stroke Spain José María Olazábal

PGA Tour playoff record (1–0)

1 1991 USF&G Classic United States Jim Hallet Won with par on second extra hole

Other wins (15)

Champions Tour wins (1)

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 3 May 2015 Insperity Invitational −11 (71-66-68=205) Playoff United States Tom Lehman, United States Kenny Perry

Champions Tour playoff record (1–0)

1 2015 Insperity Invitational United States Tom Lehman, United States Kenny Perry Won with birdie on first extra hole

European Senior Tour wins (5)

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 1 Jun 2008 Parkridge Polish Seniors Championship −14 (71-68-63=202) 1 stroke Spain Domingo Hospital
2 6 Jul 2008 Russian Seniors Open −12 (67-67-70=204) 3 strokes Paraguay Ángel Franco
3 7 Jun 2009 Irish Seniors Open −2 (74-70-67=211) Playoff United States Bob Boyd
4 19 Jun 2011 Berenberg Bank Masters −9 (71-70-66=207) 2 strokes Chile Ángel Fernández
5 12 Oct 2014 Dutch Senior Open −11 (71-69-68=208) 5 strokes England Philip Golding, England David J Russell,
England George Ryall

Other senior wins (1)

Major championships

Wins (1)

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner-up
1991 Masters Tournament 1 shot lead −11 (72-66-67-72=277) 1 stroke Spain José María Olazábal

Results timeline

Tournament 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT T14
The Open Championship CUT CUT CUT T16 T3 T8 T25 T49
PGA Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP T30 CUT WD 6
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament T30 1 T19 T17 T46 T17 T29 T39 T16 T14
U.S. Open T21 T55 T6 T52 CUT T21 T79 CUT CUT DNP
The Open Championship T4 T17 T5 T51 CUT T49 CUT T24 T57 T24
PGA Championship T31 T48 CUT T22 T9 CUT T36 CUT T29 CUT
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament T40 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT DNP 44 CUT
The Open Championship T68 T3 T37 72 DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half way cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place.
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 1 0 0 1 1 7 28 13
U.S. Open 0 1 0 1 2 4 10 7
The Open Championship 0 0 2 4 5 10 23 17
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 2 3 18 9
Totals 1 1 2 6 10 24 79 46

Results in senior major championships

Results are not in chronological order before 2016.

Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Senior PGA Championship T16 T37 DNP DNP DNP T59 CUT DNP CUT
Senior Players Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Senior Open Championship T13 T19 T8 T16 T10 CUT 75 DNP T44
U.S. Senior Open T23 T22 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 4

DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10.

Team appearances

See also


  1. Reason, Mark (25 May 2003). "In the footsteps of the famous five". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  2. "Love III gets Hall of Fame call: Woosnam, Mallon, Ochoa, Longhurst also included in Class of 2017". PGA Tour. 18 October 2016.
  3. "Ian Woosnam". BBC Wales. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  4. 1 2 "Ian Woosnam – captain". BBC News. 18 September 2006.
  5. Diaz, Jamie (April 15, 1991). "Golf; Woosnam Wins On 18th Green". The New York Times.
  6. Garrity, John (22 April 1991). "Fight to the finish". Sports Illustrated.
  7. "Woosnam to take it easy next year". New Straits Times. 27 December 1991. p. 44.
  8. Caruso, David; Salovey, Peter (2004). The Emotionally Intelligent Manager. Jossey-Bass Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7879-7071-0.
  9. "Woosnam fires caddie". CBC Sports Golf. 5 August 2001. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  10. "Volvo World Match Play Championship Facts and Figures". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  11. Casey, Phil (29 July 2006). "New treatment puts Woosnam back in title hunt". The Independent. London. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  12. "Woosnam to seek medical advice". Daily Mail. UK. 28 April 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  13. "BBC Wales Sport Personality winners". BBC Sport. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  14. Carey, Paul (30 December 2006). "Golf: Woosie ends year with OBE". Western Mail. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  15. "Woosnam celebrates Polish victory". BBC Sport. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  16. "Inductees to Roll Of Honour". Welsh Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011.
  17. Huggan, John (8 April 2016). "Ian Woosnam quietly calls it quits in the Masters 25 years after win". Golf Digest.
  18. Ostler, Scott (7 December 1987). "There's a Price Paid for 'Guilt Premium' Offered by South Africa". Los Angeles Times.
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