Schofield applied more pressure. His reasons for wanting Martín to step down were even stronger than Ballesteros's. With players like Faldo and Parnevik, and next year Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood, and perhaps even Montgomerie, bolting the European tour to play in the U.S., Schofield needed a European victory in the Ryder Cup to restore luster to his sagging enterprise.
Martín, however, refused to go away after he was officially declared off the team on Sept. 2. He threatened a lawsuit, which ultimately caused Ballesteros to blow his cool. Asked if Martín and his attorneys had a strong enough case to stop the Ryder Cup, Ballesteros launched into a diatribe in which he referred to Martín as "that little man," a "square head," a "kamikaze aiming for the ship" and a "machine gunner spraying everywhere." Worst of all, he said that Martín "was not wanted before. What makes you think he's wanted now?"
The situation couldn't have been more plain, and despite the Ryder Cup committee's last-minute gesture to make Martín part of the team, Ballesteros's decision to heed his players' objections to Martín's presence in the team room kept Martín from being accorded the respect he craved.
Martín won't say if money was a part of his settlement, but he reportedly received some cash—probably somewhere in the mid-five figures from the only company he represents, Oki, a computer maker that sponsors a tournament on the European tour and feels Martín was done an injustice, and perhaps some blood money from the Ryder Cup committee. "There is no amount of money to make up for what they have put me through," says Martín.
Worst of all, from Martín's point of view, he wasn't missed at Valderrama, and everything turned out better than his adversaries expected. Europe won the Cup, and Faldo, Olazábal and Parnevik performed brilliantly. Ballesteros and Schofield wound up covered in glory. Whereas the Martín affair had at one point looked as if it might turn Ballesteros's captaincy in his native land into an embarrassment and further weaken Schofield's position as executive director of the tour, winning the Cup negated any adverse effects. Martín's banishment will not go down, as his friend and Ryder Cup team member Ignacio Garrido described it, as "the worst decision in the history of golf." Winning changes everything.
"The big fish always eats the little fish," says Martín, who, as the son of an Andalusian laborer, got his start in golf at nine, caddying for the equivalent of 50 cents a loop. Martín has always been a little fish. He's bitter because by playing his way onto the Ryder Cup team, he felt he had earned the respect of the big fish.
To stay positive Martín has relied on family and friends like Pedro Alonso, who accompanied him last Thursday at Lomas Bosque. Martín also works with a personal trainer, Miguel Angel Garcia Machado, who ends their daily sessions by having Martín meditate to help reduce stress. "Miguel Angel must place the mess that has been made in these months behind a door and close it," says Machado. "Slowly he can go back and clean it up."
Martín is due to make his return to competitive golf in two weeks in the Dunhill Cup, where one of his teammates will be Olazábal, the man who replaced him at the Ryder Cup. "It might be awkward," Martín says. "It's up to him. I don't know how it will be. For me, getting rid of the anger will come from playing well. I'm more motivated than ever. The only way to get back now is to beat them."
Martín probably went through his most difficult passage while watching the telecast of the European team's victory on Sunday. He admitted before the Ryder Cup that part of him wanted the U.S. to win, and win big. "But that's wasted energy," he said. "I fight those feelings."
They would surely have risen to the surface had he been present for the winning team's press conference. Ballesteros asked each player to talk about his experiences that week, and they all mentioned the bond they had formed with their teammates. Not one player mentioned Martín.