The legendary Seve Ballesteros in Ryder Cup action (Getty Images)
Seve's spirit rouses European Team
Whilst the great Seve Ballesteros is unable to attend The 2010 Ryder Cup as he continues his recovery from a brain tumour, his presence was still felt in Europe’s Team room.
In midweek the 12 members of the European side spoke to Ballesteros in an emotional phonecall, during which the Spaniard urged Colin Montgomerie’s men to show the same fight he had shown in recovering from his life-threatening illness.
According to Montgomerie, the six debutants in his Team were especially inspired by Ballesteros, who won three Ryder Cups as a player before masterminding Europe’s victory over America as Captain at Valderrama in 1997.
He said: “Paul McGinley, one of my Vice Captains, speaks regularly to Seve, and he became very close with Seve throughout his illness. So they decided, the two of them, that it would be quite good if Seve spoke to the Team and so they put this to me, and I thought it was a great idea. So that’s how it came around really.
“The whole Team spoke to Seve for about 10 minutes, and it was very motivational and very passionate, but also very sad to hear the way he is. But still, the passion is very, very strong within Seve for us as a Team, and he just wishes that he could be here. Obviously he was invited to be here, but as you’re no doubt aware, he couldn’t make it.
“So that was a real inspiration, especially for the rookies in the team, to speak to Seve and for Seve to speak to them. It was on the speakerphone in our Team room. We had a Team meeting, and it was a very different form of Team meeting took because of the passion that was certainly engulfed in that room, and we all had a super time together.
“I was one of the few in that room, if not the only one in that room, who actually played alongside Seve in The Ryder Cup. I was fortunate to play three Ryder Cups with Seve, and of course he captained me on my fourth appearance. I’ve never known anyone as passionate about sport and golf as him.
“It was a very passionate speech that he used to give to the Team 13 years ago when he was the Captain at Valderrama in 1997. He was extremely open about our chances, and about the Team which has been selected and the Team which has qualified. We were just honoured to have his presence in the room. It definitely bonds a Team, if they needed bonding, when a legend like Seve speaks to them.”