Ian Woosnam, nicknamed “Woosie” or the “Wee Welshman,” was born in Oswestry, England on March 2, 1958. Though small in stature at 5 ft. 4½ in., he is a powerful striker of the golf ball.
He joined the ranks of professional golfers in 1976 and joined the European Tour in 1979.
Woosnam won his maiden victory in 1982 at the Swiss Open Championship and has grown from strength to strength, winning 47 worldwide victories, 30 of those on the European and PGA Tours including the 1991 Masters. He was a regular fixture on the leader boards throughout the 1980s and 1990s and was in good company as one of the “Big 5” with four other World Golf Hall of Fame Members – Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer.
He has won more professional golf tournaments on tour than any other male British golfer and, for 50 weeks throughout 1991 and 1992, he was World Number One in the Official World Rankings. His sterling play led him to represent Europe in eight consecutive Ryder Cup teams from 1983 to 1997. In 2006 he captained the European Ryder Cup team to an 18½ – 9½ victory over the U.S. team at the K Club in Ireland.
Woosnam won the Order of Merit as the leading money winner on the European Tour and was named European Player of the Year in 1987 and 1990. In recognition of his contributions to golf, he was awarded the Queen’s honor of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006.
He continues to compete on the Seniors Tour and says that he will “always be a contender.”
Ian Woosnam’s life and career is now recognized in the World Golf Hall of Fame.