Ian Woosnam

Ian Woosnam
Ian Woosnam at Royal Troon cropped.jpg
Woosnam in 2009
Personal information
Full nameIan Harold Woosnam
Born (1958-03-02) 2 March 1958 (age 62)
Oswestry, England
Height1.64 m (5 ft 4 12 in)
Weight168 lb (76 kg; 12.0 st)
Nationality Wales
ResidenceJersey, Channel Islands
SpouseGlendryth (m. 1983)
ChildrenDaniel, Rebecca, Ami
Turned professional1976
Current tour(s)European Senior Tour
PGA Tour Champions
Former tour(s)European Tour
Professional wins52
Highest ranking1 (7 April 1991)[1]
(50 weeks)
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour2
European Tour29 (6th all time)
PGA Tour Champions1
European Senior Tour5
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentWon: 1991
PGA Championship6th: 1989
U.S. OpenT2: 1989
The Open ChampionshipT3: 1986, 2001
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2017 (member page)
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', 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.[2] Woosnam was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.[3]

Early life

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.

Career outline

Woosnam started playing at the unique Llanymynech Golf Club, which straddles the Wales-England border.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6][7]

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.[8]

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 decided at the time not to dismiss 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."[9] Woosnam did dismiss his caddie two weeks later when, after a night drinking on the town, Byrne failed to turn up to tee-time.[10]

Later in 2001, 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 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.[5] Woosnam had a record outward nine holes of 28 (-7) in the 2001 final against Harrington, which tied the tournament record of seven successive birdies in a match.[11]

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.

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.[12] The tournament was his third appearance on European Seniors Tour, which he joined after turning 50 years old in March 2008. Woosnam went 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 December 1987, 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 OBE in the 2007 New Years Honours List.[14]

In September 2010, he was inducted to the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame.[15]

Personal life

Woosnam was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in early 1987,[16] which affects approximately 1 in 200 men and 1 in 500 women in Britain.[17] He now lives in Jersey.


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

Professional wins (52)

PGA Tour wins (2)

Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (1)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
124 Mar 1991USF&G Classic−13 (73-67-68-67=275)PlayoffUnited States Jim Hallet
214 Apr 1991Masters Tournament−11 (72-66-67-72=277)1 strokeSpain José María Olazábal

PGA Tour playoff record (1–0)

11991USF&G ClassicUnited States Jim HalletWon with par on second extra hole

European Tour wins (29)

Major championships (1)
Volvo PGA Championships (2)
Other European Tour (26)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
129 Aug 1982Ebel Swiss Open−16 (68-68-66-70=272)PlayoffScotland Bill Longmuir
25 Jun 1983Silk Cut Masters−15 (68-69-67-65=269)3 strokesScotland Bernard Gallacher
38 Jul 1984Scandinavian Enterprise Open−4 (71-70-69-70=280)3 strokesUnited States Peter Teravainen
421 Sep 1986Lawrence Batley International T.P.C.−11 (71-71-66-69=277)7 strokesScotland Ken Brown, Spain José Maria Cañizares
512 Apr 1987Jersey Open−9 (68-67-72-72=279)1 strokeUnited States Bill Malley
626 Apr 1987Cepsa Madrid Open−19 (67-67-69-66=269)3 strokesAustralia Wayne Grady
711 Jul 1987Bell's Scottish Open−20 (65-65-66-68=264)7 strokesAustralia Peter Senior
820 Sep 1987Trophée Lancôme−24 (65-64-69-66=264)2 strokesZimbabwe Mark McNulty
930 May 1988Volvo PGA Championship−14 (67-70-70-67=274)2 strokesSpain Seve Ballesteros, England Mark James
1021 Aug 1988Carroll's Irish Open−10 (68-70-70-70=278)7 strokesSpain Seve Ballesteros, England Nick Faldo,
Spain Manuel Piñero, Republic of Ireland Des Smyth
1111 Sep 1988Panasonic European Open−20 (65-66-64-65=260)3 strokesEngland Nick Faldo
1225 Jun 1989Carroll's Irish Open (2)−10 (70-67-71-70=278)PlayoffRepublic of Ireland Philip Walton
134 Mar 1990Amex Med Open−6 (68-68-74=210)2 strokesSpain Miguel Ángel Martín, Argentina Eduardo Romero
147 Jul 1990Torras Monte Carlo Open−18 (66-67-65-60=258)5 strokesItaly Costantino Rocca
1514 Jul 1990Bell's Scottish Open (2)−15 (72-62-67-68=269)4 strokesZimbabwe Mark McNulty
1630 Sep 1990Epson Grand Prix of Europe−13 (65-67-67-72=271)3 strokesZimbabwe Mark McNulty, Spain José María Olazábal
173 Mar 1991Fujitsu Mediterranean Open (2)−5 (70-71-71-67=279)1 strokeEngland Michael McLean
1814 Apr 1991Masters Tournament−11 (72-66-67-72=277)1 strokeSpain José María Olazábal
196 Jul 1991Torras Monte Carlo Golf Open (2)−15 (67-66-61-67=261)4 strokesSweden Anders Forsbrand
204 Jul 1992European Monte Carlo Open (3)−15 (66-65-66-64=261)2 strokesZimbabwe Mark McNulty, Sweden Johan Ryström
2122 Aug 1993Murphy's English Open−19 (71-67-65-66=269)2 strokesItaly Costantino Rocca
2219 Sep 1993Trophée Lancôme (2)−13 (64-70-68-65=267)2 strokesScotland Sam Torrance
231 May 1994Air France Cannes Open−17 (72-70-63-66=271)5 strokesScotland Colin Montgomerie
2418 Sep 1994Dunhill British Masters (2)−17 (71-70-63-67=271)4 strokesSpain Seve Ballesteros
2528 Jan 1996Johnnie Walker Classic1−16 (69-68-69-66=272)PlayoffScotland Andrew Coltart
264 Feb 1996Heineken Classic1−11 (69-71-65-72=277)1 strokeRepublic of Ireland Paul McGinley, France Jean van de Velde
2713 Jul 1996Scottish Open (3)+1 (70-74-70-75=289)4 strokesScotland Andrew Coltart
2825 Aug 1996Volvo German Open−20 (64-64-65=193)6 strokesGermany , Sweden Robert Karlsson,
England Iain Pyman, Spain
2926 May 1997Volvo PGA Championship (2)−13 (67-68-70-70=275)2 strokesNorthern Ireland Darren Clarke, South Africa Ernie Els,
England Nick Faldo

1Co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia

European Tour playoff record (3–5)

11982Ebel Swiss OpenScotland Bill LongmuirWon with par on third extra hole
21987Suze OpenSpain Seve BallesterosLost to par on first extra hole
31989Wang Four StarsAustralia Craig ParryLost to birdie on first extra hole
41989Carroll's Irish OpenRepublic of Ireland Philip WaltonWon with birdie on second extra hole
51993Honda OpenEngland Paul Broadhurst, Sweden Johan Ryström,
Scotland Sam Torrance
Torrance won with birdie on first extra hole
61996Johnnie Walker ClassicScotland Andrew ColtartWon with birdie on third extra hole
71997Dubai Desert ClassicAustralia Richard Green, Australia Greg NormanGreen won with birdie on first extra hole
81999Linde German MastersSpain Sergio García, Republic of Ireland Pádraig HarringtonGarcía won with birdie on second extra hole
Woosnam eliminated by par on first hole

Asia Golf Circuit wins (1)

Other Asian wins (1)

  • 1997 Hyundai Motor Masters (South Korea)

Safari circuit wins (2)

Other wins (11)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
231 Oct 1982Cacharel World Under-25 Championship+2 (71-69-74-76=290)5 strokesEngland
318 Oct 1987Suntory World Match Play Championship1 upScotland Sandy Lyle
421 Nov 1987World Cup
(with Wales David Llewellyn)
−2 (143-145-138-148=574)Playoff ScotlandSandy Lyle and Sam Torrance
521 Nov 1987World Cup Individual Trophy−14 (67-70-65-72=274)5 strokesScotland Sandy Lyle
66 Dec 1987Nedbank Million Dollar Challenge−14 (67-71-68-68=274)4 strokesEngland Nick Faldo
71988Welsh National PGA Championship−3 (137)
823 Sep 1990Suntory World Match Play Championship (2)4 & 2Zimbabwe Mark McNulty
93 Nov 1991World Cup Individual Trophy (2)−15 (70-69-67-67=273)3 strokesGermany Bernhard Langer
1013 Nov 1991PGA Grand Slam of Golf−9 (69-66=135)4 strokesAustralia Ian Baker-Finch
1114 Oct 2001Cisco World Match Play Championship (3)2 & 1Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington

Other playoff record (1–2)

11987World Cup
(with Wales David Llewellyn)
 ScotlandSandy Lyle and Sam TorranceWon with par on second extra hole
21992World Cup Individual TrophyAustralia Brett OgleLost to birdie on first extra hole
31996Johnnie Walker Super TourSouth Africa Ernie ElsLost to par on first extra hole

Champions Tour wins (1)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
13 May 2015Insperity Invitational−11 (71-66-68=205)PlayoffUnited States Tom Lehman, United States Kenny Perry

Champions Tour playoff record (1–0)

12015Insperity InvitationalUnited States Tom Lehman, United States Kenny PerryWon with birdie on first extra hole

European Senior Tour wins (5)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
11 Jun 2008Parkridge Polish Seniors Championship−14 (71-68-63=202)1 strokeSpain Domingo Hospital
26 Jul 2008Russian Seniors Open−12 (67-67-70=204)3 strokesParaguay Ángel Franco
37 Jun 2009Irish Seniors Open−2 (74-70-67=211)PlayoffUnited States Bob Boyd
419 Jun 2011Berenberg Bank Masters−9 (71-70-66=207)2 strokesChile
512 Oct 2014Dutch Senior Open−11 (71-69-68=208)5 strokesEngland Philip Golding, England David J. Russell,
England George Ryall

European Senior Tour playoff record (1–1)

12009Irish Seniors OpenUnited States Bob BoydWon with birdie on third extra hole
22016Acorn Jersey OpenAustria Gordon Manson, England Gary WolstenholmeManson won with birdie on third extra hole

Other senior wins (1)

  • 2009 PGA Handa Cup Philanthropy Senior Tournament (Japan)[19]

Major championships

Wins (1)

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner-up
1991Masters Tournament1 shot lead−11 (72-66-67-72=277)1 strokeSpain José María Olazábal

Results timeline

Masters TournamentCUTT14
U.S. OpenT2
The Open ChampionshipCUTCUTCUTT16T3T8T25T49
PGA ChampionshipT30CUTWD6
Masters TournamentT301T19T17T46T17T29T39T16T14
The Open ChampionshipT4T17T5T51CUTT49CUTT24T57T24
PGA ChampionshipT31T48CUTT22T9CUTT36CUTT29CUT
U.S. Open
The Open ChampionshipT68T3T37T72CUT
PGA ChampionshipCUTT51CUTCUT
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
Masters TournamentCUT
PGA Championship
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half way cut (3rd round cut in 1982 and 1984 Open Championships)
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place.


TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament1001173113
PGA Championship000023189
U.S. Open010124107
The Open Championship00245102317
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 15 (1989 Masters – 1992 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1992 U.S. Open – 1992 Open Championship)

Results in The Players Championship

The Players ChampionshipCUTT15CUTT39CUTT23CUTWDWDCUTT66T70
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Results in World Golf Championships

Match PlayR64
  Did not play

QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = Tied

Results in senior major championships

Results are not in chronological order before 2017.

The TraditionT43T52T57T56T12
Senior PGA ChampionshipT16T37T59CUTCUTT63
U.S. Senior OpenT23T224T37
Senior Players ChampionshipT41
The Senior Open ChampionshipT13T19T8T16T10CUT75T44T45WDT36
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearances

See also


  1. ^ "Week 14 1991 Ending 7 Apr 1991" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  2. ^ Reason, Mark (25 May 2003). "In the footsteps of the famous five". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  3. ^ "Love III gets Hall of Fame call: Woosnam, Mallon, Ochoa, Longhurst also included in Class of 2017". PGA Tour. 18 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Ian Woosnam". BBC Wales. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Ian Woosnam – captain". BBC Sport. 18 September 2006.
  6. ^ Diaz, Jamie (15 April 1991). "Golf; Woosnam Wins On 18th Green". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Garrity, John (22 April 1991). "Fight to the finish". Sports Illustrated.
  8. ^ "Woosnam to take it easy next year". New Straits Times. 27 December 1991. p. 44 – via Google News.
  9. ^ Caruso, David; Salovey, Peter (2004). The Emotionally Intelligent Manager. Jossey-Bass Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7879-7071-0.
  10. ^ "Woosnam fires caddie". CBC Sports Golf. 5 August 2001. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Volvo World Match Play Championship Facts and Figures". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Woosnam celebrates Polish victory". BBC Sport. 1 June 2008. 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 (Wales). Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  15. ^ "Inductees to Roll Of Honour". Welsh Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011.
  16. ^ Casey, Phil (29 July 2006). "New treatment puts Woosnam back in title hunt". The Independent. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  17. ^ "Woosnam to seek medical advice". Mail Online. 28 April 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  18. ^ Ostler, Scott (7 December 1987). "There's a Price Paid for 'Guilt Premium' Offered by South Africa". Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ "2009 PGA Senior Tour Tournaments Summary". www.pga.or.jp.

External links