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Page last updated at 11:00 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 12:00 UK

Woosnam hails new lease of life

By James Pontin

Ian Woosnam currently leads the Seniors Tour Order of Merit
Ian Woosnam currently leads the Seniors Tour Order of Merit

Former Masters champion Ian Woosnam has put his recent Seniors double success down to a new relaxation method.

Woosnam, a winning Ryder Cup captain, had not won an individual stroke-play tournament since claiming the Volvo PGA Championship back in 1997.

But this season the Welshman has moved onto the Seniors Tour, where he has won both the Polish and Russian Open.

"You breathe in for five seconds and out for five seconds and that fetches your heart-rate down," said Woosnam.

"It makes your mind more calm, makes you more relaxed and if you can get into doing that it helps your performance on the golf course and actually helps your performance in life as well.

"I have been practicing HeartMath which is a set of techniques to help relieve stress and handle pressure situations.

"I used it in the Ryder Cup to help me with the speeches and it's helping me on the course as you can see.

"It also helped me cope with my chronic fatigue syndrome."

Woosnam has suffered health problems over the last few years that at one point left him fearing his career was over.

As well as post-viral fatigue syndrome Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Woosnam has also been battling the painful, progressive rheumatic disease Ankylosing Spondylitis.

But Woosnam returned to full action in July last year and is enjoying a new lease of life on the Seniors Tour since turning 50.

As well as his two recent eastern European successes, Woosnam also took second place at the Wales Open in Conwy.

"I'd like to go to America now and try and win one over there, also I'm going to play a little bit more in Europe as well," Woosnam added.

"So hopefully by the end of the year and could try and win the Order of Merit as well."

see also
Myalgic encephalomyelitis
20 May 98 |  Medical notes
Ankylosing spondylitis
07 Jun 99 |  Medical notes

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