Faldo not to blame say Irish stars

Nick Faldo is not to blame for Europe's biggest Ryder Cup defeat for 24 years.

At least, that's the view of Irish stars Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell following the USA's 16.5 - 11.5 victory at Valhalla on Sunday.

Faldo was lashed for leaving out Darren Clarke, revealing his first day pairings to cameramen, dropping Lee Westwood for Saturday's foursomes and then bottom loading his singles line up.

But Harrington reckons they were simply outplayed by a motivated US side, adding: "Their team was more of a European team."

He added: "I don’t think there’s a sense that we lost it. The US played well, they holed the putts and I’d definitely say that their wedge play was better than ours."

But both Irishmen had nothing but good things to say about Faldo and his inspirational vice captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

Harrington said: " Everything he said in the team room was excellent. I think he was complemented very much by an emotional Olazabal, who was superb. He was in tears making his speech last night.

"Seeing Olly in that situation he will make an unbelievable captain in time to come. He’ll have his whole team in tears because he had most of us in tears last night. It was his passion."

McDowell added: "He’s going to be criticised but it’s unfairly. I think Nick handled things pretty well this week."

Olazabal wants to play at Celtic Manor in 2010 and looks likely to lead the side at Medinah in 2012.

The European Tour will discuss Faldo's successor at a meeting in Abu Dhabi next January with Thomas Bjorn and Welshman Ian Woosnam tipped for the job.