Ryder Cup heroes: No.1 - Paul Way

Golf News

The English ace relives the legendary matches of 1985 at The Belfry

The nerves

THERE was more pressure and you realised what it was all about when 50,000 turned up. I remember getting a police escort to the 1st tee and thinking ‘Christ, what’s this all about’. 

When we won, we went into the leisure part of the hotel and threw Faldo in the pool; he had played twice and hadn’t won a point so we threw him in with his suit.

Playing under Jacklin

TONY was incredible and great for me personally. We were made to feel special, flying by Concorde and having cashmere sweaters. 

Seve and I lost the first match so I thought I won’t play again and I ended up playing nine out of 10 matches under him. I have no idea why he put us together; I suppose I was the youngest and he was our most experienced in terms of Majors. 

At the start of the week some of the USA fans would be wanting us to win to make it more exciting. Then it got a bit closer and they changed their tune a bit. 

In 1985 we had a stronger team and there were more Spaniards and he kept them together. I was more than happy playing with Woosie and we won two of our three matches.
His wife says ‘Raymond, don’t you know the rules of golf?’ To which Ray replied ‘Maria, you better get the f*** off this golf course.’

Beating Ray Floyd

They were all tough matches but that was particularly true of Ray Floyd. I didn’t pay him a lot of respect; I was 22 and a bit cocky… and I got four up after eight, which helped a lot.

He didn’t talk too much. We had a bit of a row on the 1st when he putted out of turn. He was only about 18 inches away and tapped it in so I pointed it out – I was winding him up. He muttered something and walked off and it was either going to go one way or the other and it went mine.

At the 8th we both turned it over and hit it in the hazard. There was my girlfriend, his wife, a PGA official and the caddies. I dropped mine and it stopped on the bank and he dropped his and it started trickling back down the slope and more or less into the hazard but stopped about two inches in play. 

So his feet are in the shingle and all he could do was chip out. 
He looked at the official and asked if he could get a re-drop to which he obviously said ‘no’.

His wife says ‘Raymond, don’t you know the rules of golf?’ To which Ray replied ‘Maria, you better get the f*** off this golf course.’ So they’ve had a domestic, I made a par and Maria is halfway up the 19th. 

In the end I was one up playing the last and he topped it in the water and he just shook my hand. There weren’t a lot of pleasantries.

Playing on the Senior Tour

I HAD a lot of illnesses and pressures that people don’t know about. I actually had tonsillitis in the 1985 Ryder Cup and felt terrible all week. I had them out about two weeks after that. 

After the win at The Belfry the standard was getting better and better and I was injured a lot so it was a bit of a nightmare but I don’t look back and regret any of it. 

I had three wins, including the PGA at Wentworth and European Open at Walton Heath, and played on the European Tour for 14 years.

Recently I’ve had a blood clot on my shoulder which I’ve had an operation on but I play corporate golf these days and Pro-ms and I’m trying to get ready for the Senior Tour in a couple of years.

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