Irish golfer seeks explanation from PM over skit

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryder cup winning golfer Philip Walton has written to Ireland's prime minister asking him to explain why he mimicked the sportsman at a now infamous boozy night with journalists and politicians.

In a statement released exclusively to Reuters on Thursday, Walton said he and his wife felt compelled to contact Brian Cowen after details of the skit appeared in newspapers and television reports.

"From what I have heard and read so far the stories are of concern to myself, my wife and also my children as they have seen reports on 'You Tube'," Walton said in a statement.

"As a result, we felt the best thing at this point was to write to An Taoiseach (the prime minister) ourselves to get more details and the exact context of the various stories."

The statement said Walton, who holed the winning putt in the 1995 Ryder Cup, felt "anger" at this week's events.

Walton's letter will heap further pressure on Cowen who was forced to apologize on Wednesday for performing badly on a morning radio interview just hours after he finished partying at his parliamentary party's annual conference.

Cowen has repeatedly denied he was drunk or hungover on the radio show.

The controversy, labeled "garglegate" by some, has raised questions over Cowen's leadership just as Ireland seeks to convince investors it is not on the brink of a debt crisis.

Renowned for his gruff public persona, Cowen traditionally lets his hair down at his parliamentary party's annual meeting.

A renowned mimic, he regaled the media and political colleagues, including senior government ministers, with a song and impersonations, including one of Walton, on Monday night.

(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Peter Graff)