In 1987, Ian
became the first British player to win the World
Matchplay Championship at Wentworth. He beat Nick
Faldo (quarter-finals), Seve Ballesteros
(semi-finals) and Sandy Lyle (final). All three
36-hole matches were won by the margin of 1 up.
He also won the title in 1990. Ian Topped the
European Order of Merit in both 1987 and 1990.
In 1991, Ian held his
nerve superbly to hold off the challenge of Tom
Watson and Jose-Maria Olazabal to win the US
Masters. With one hole left to play, all three
were tied for the lead at 11 under par. Olazabal,
playing one group ahead of Watson and Woosnam,
bogied the par-4 72nd hole after finding sand
with both his drive and second shot. Watson drove
into the trees down the right and took six
(double-bogey), while Woosnam bravely got down in
two for par from just off the putting surface to
pip Olazabal by one stroke.
Ian was ranked number
one in the world at the end of 1991 - his big
was a small but powerful player.