Aug. 22, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Former Florida State University golfer Paul Azinger has been named to the 2001 United States Ryder Cup team by captain Curtis Strange. Azinger was a member of the Florida State golf team from 1981-83 and has been a member of three Ryder Cup (1989, 1991 and 1993) teams.
The 34th Ryder Cup is scheduled to be contested Sept. 28-30 against Europe at The Belfry in England.
Azinger was the heart of the American team a decade ago, a fiery leader who battled the gamesmanship of Seve Ballesteros and the strong play of Nick Faldo. Even with the 1993 matches already decided, he fought Faldo to a draw for pride alone. Two months later, he was diagnosed with lymphoma in his left shoulder and spent the next three Ryder Cups working for television or watching from home.
Paul Azinger, was, I think, an obvious choice,” European captain Sam Torrence said. “He as a good record in the Ryder cup and has played The Belfry before, so he has experience of the course. Overall, I feel it (the United States) is a very strong team, enhanced by two good picks.”
Azinger, finished 22nd in the Ryder Cup standings, was selected based on his Ryder Cup experience and knowledge of The Belfry.
This will be Azinger’s first Ryder Cup since his battle with cancer in 1993. His comeback began in 2000 at the Sony Open, where he won for the first time since the 1993 PGA Championship. Azinger has played in 15 PGA Tour events this season and has earned nearly $1.2 million. His best finishes of the year came at the Memorial Tournament where he finished tied for second and at the U.S. Open where finished tied for fifth.
A native of Bradenton, Fla., Azinger has earned more than $8 million during his professional career that began in 1983. He has eight career tour victories to his credit.