Torrance criticises Faldo over Ryder Cup assistants

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KILLENARD, Ireland, Sep 30 (Reuters) Europe's 2008 Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo came in for criticism from former skipper Sam Torrance at the Seve Trophy.

Torrance told a Scottish newspaper that Faldo's decision to appoint two non playing vice-captains in May had been ''an insult''.

The victorious 2002 Ryder Cup skipper was upset Ireland's Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain were named when the pair had realistic chances of playing their way on to the team.

''I thought it was absolutely horrific of Faldo to ask Olazabal and McGinley to be vice-captains, it was a real mistake,'' Torrance was quoted as saying yesterday. ''I can't think of anything they need to be doing (several) months before an event.

''They should come in with six weeks to go. To ask two current players, to me that's just an insult.'' Faldo, who is captaining Britain and Ireland against Continental Europe at the Seve Trophy here this week, refused earlier this week to talk further about the issue after McGinley stepped down as vice-captain.

The six-times major champion again declined to be drawn into the controversy on Saturday.

''Everybody is entitled to their opinion but it's a shame they lean towards the negative,'' Faldo told reporters.

''I'm not going to expand on that. I made my decision (to appoint McGinley and Olazabal) and I thought it was a good idea.'' Earlier this week, Faldo denied McGinley's decision had anything to do with him not being chosen as one of the Britain and Ireland Seve Trophy wildcards.

Faldo's Britain and Ireland team go into Sunday's singles matches here trailing Seve Ballesteros's Continental Europe 9 1/2-8 1/2.

The Ryder Cup will be played at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky from Sept. 16-21 next year.

REUTERS BJR RK1016

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