HomeSportCall to Ballesteros lifted European Ryder Cup team

Call to Ballesteros lifted European Ryder Cup team

COLIN Montgomerie has revealed how the European team room was “engulfed” with passion after an emotional pep talk by Seve Ballesteros.
At the same time on Tuesday night the Americans were listening to an address from an Air Force pilot, Major Dan Rooney.

The involvement of a military figure raised fears that the Ryder Cup could degenerate into a feral battle when it begins this morning.
Ryder Cup hero Ballesteros was invited by Montgomerie, the European team’s captain, to speak to the group on speakerphone from his home in Spain, where he is fighting to recover from a brain tumour.

Montgomerie wants to keep the input on sporting lines and opted to invite Ballesteros and Welsh rugby legend Gareth Edwards — the current captain at Celtic Manor — to address his men.

The effect, he said, was electrifying. “It was a real inspiration, especially for the rookies in the team, for Seve to speak to them,” Montgomerie said.
“We had a team meeting and it was very different because of the passion that engulfed the room, and it was a super time that we had.”
He added: “It was very motivational and also very sad to hear him in the way he is. But the passion is still very strong within Seve for us as a team and he just wishes he could be here.

“He was extremely open about our chances and about the team that has been selected and we were just honoured to have his presence in the room. As for motivation, there’s no need for that. We are motivated by losing two years ago.”

Montgomerie declined to comment on Corey Pavin’s choice of a military man to address the Americans, although it revived memories of the infamous ‘War on the shore’ at Kiawah Island 19 years ago, when Pavin controversially wore a camouflage cap.

Pavin explained that there could be lessons for his team from the F-16 fighter pilot, who is also a qualified golf professional.
He said: “‘I want these guys to be accountable to each other and have each other’s backs, and basically that’s what happens in the military. It was emotional but a good kind of emotion.”

Montgomery admitted Rory McIlroy had been slightly disconcerted by the attention given to his remarks about facing Tiger Woods.
The 21-year-old said he would be happy to play Woods, given the world No 1’s poor form.

Woods has made it clear that he would relish the chance to put the Northern Irishman in his place, should the draw enable them to face each other.
“‘I think other people have said things like that to Tiger in the past and have maybe regretted it,” said Pavin.

“I think anything that gets players fired up is always a positive for the player who is getting fired up. I know Tiger is aware of the comment.
“If they do play against each other it would be quite entertaining. I’d enjoy it.”

With heavy rain forecast over the weekend, and Europe only playing nine holes on Wednesday, there are fears that this could be the first Ryder Cup to spill over into a fourth day. ­— DailyMail.

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