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Page last updated at 06:25 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 07:25 UK

Faldo has 'no beef' with Azinger

Nick Faldo (right) and Paul Azinger
Azinger (left) and Faldo will go head-to-head in September

European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo has played down reports of a rift with American skipper Paul Azinger.

Faldo said: "There's no beef between us at all. We've spoken several times and we'll probably go fishing at the end of the Ryder Cup."

The pair often clashed during their playing careers.

And Azinger was quoted in the Mail on Sunday saying: "Players from Faldo's generation and mine really don't want to have anything to do with Faldo."

In 1987, Azinger bogeyed the final two holes to hand the Open title to Faldo at Muirfield and is said to have been irked by Faldo's words of comfort afterwards.

They went on to clash in some memorable battles during their Ryder Cup playing days, but appeared to bury the hatchet when sharing a commentary booth for US broadcaster ABC.

He and Faldo don't seem to get along and there's no way Faldo will award him one of his two wild cards

Paul Azinger

But on Sunday Azinger seemed to have ignited what was always likely to be a lively countdown to September's competition in Valhalla, Louisville.

He said: "He did what he did as a player and there are relational consequences.

"Nick Faldo has tried to redefine himself. I'd say he is both who he is and who he was. Some people have bought it. Some have not."

In the article, Azinger claimed Faldo would not give a wild card to Scotland's Colin Montgomerie as they had not always seen eye-to-eye in the last year.

Montgomerie questioned Faldo's decision to appoint Paul McGinley and Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal as vice-captains back in May.

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Faldo then criticised the Scot for his behaviour at last season's Seve Trophy match in Ireland, when he failed to turn up for some team meetings.

But Montgomerie, who could beat Faldo's record for the most matches won and most points in Ryder Cup history if he was to play, has since said they have ended their differences.

However, Azinger said there was no way Faldo would pick him for the event, which has been won for the last three times by Europe.

He said: "I hope he plays against us, but I'm worried he won't. He and Faldo don't seem to get along and there's no way Faldo will award him one of his two wild cards."


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