Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

James Lawton: Europe's Ryder Cup team must channel spirit of Seve

ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: The European team players pose for a photograph with their wives and partners prior to the 39th Ryder Cup gala>> at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: European Team captain Jose Maria Olazabal poses for a photograph with the European players wives and partners prior to the 39th Ryder Cup gala>> at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Rory McIlroy of Europe signs autographs for spectators during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Rory McIlroy tallks with Justin Timberlake during the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Jose Maria Olazabal and Davis Love III with Justin Timberlake during the 39th Ryder Cup gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Tiger Woods of the USA tallks with Justin Timberlake during the 39th Ryder Cup gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Phil Mickelson of the USA signs autographs for fans outside the 39th Ryder Cup gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Jose Maria Olazabal and Davis Love III with Justin Timberlake during the 39th Ryder Cup gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Francesco Molinari of Europe lines up a shot with his caddie Jason Hempleman during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy of Europe walk with their caddies during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: (L-R) Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Jim McLean, Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson of the USA walk off a tee box during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Europe's Rory McIlroy reacts to a putt on the seventh hole during a practice round at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: A USA spectator watches the action during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: A USA spectator takes photos during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: British fans watch the action during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Tiger Woods of the United States hits a drive during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Tiger Woods of the USA tallks with Justin Timberlake during the 39th Ryder Cup gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Tiger Woods of the USA enters the stage during the 39th Ryder Cup gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Tiger Woods of the USA enters the stage during the 39th Ryder Cup gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Europe poses for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Rory McIlroy of Europe poses for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Graeme McDowell of Europe poses with his girlfriend Kristin Stape for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Justin Rose of Europe poses with his wife Kate for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Francesco Molinari of Europe poses with his wife Valentina for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Luke Donald of England of Europe poses with his wife Diane for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Sergio Garcia (L) and Jose Maria Olazabal of Europe pose for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Ian Poulter of England of Europe poses with his wife Katie for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Paul Lawrie of Europe poses with his wife Marian for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Lee Westwood of Europe poses with his wife Laurae for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Peter Hanson of Europe poses with his wife Sanna for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Thomas Bjorn of Europe poses with his wife Pernilla for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Thomas Bjorn of Europe poses with his wife Pernilla for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Steve Stricker of the USA and his wife Nicki Stricker attend the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Bubba Watson of the USA and his wife Angie Watson attend the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Tiger Woods of the USA attends the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Tiger Woods of the USA attends the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Phil Mickelson of the USA and his wife Amy Mickelson attend the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Phil Mickelson of the USA and his wife Amy Mickelson attend the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: USA team captain Davis Love III and his wife Robin Love attend the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: USA team captain Davis Love III and his wife Robin Love attend the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: (L-R) Nicolas Colsaerts, Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer of Europe pose for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: (L-R) Martin Kaymer, Sergio Garcia and Nicolas Colsaerts of Europe pose for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Graeme McDowell of Europe (L) poses with his girlfriend Kristin Stape and Rory McIlroy (R) for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Paul McGinley of Europe poses with his wife Ally for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Darren Clarke of Europe poses with his wife Alison for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LOMBARD, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Miguel Angel Jimenez of Europe poses with his girlfriend Susanne Styblo for a portrait at the Ryder Cup host hotel prior to the start of the 39th Ryder Cup Gala on September 26, 2012 in Lombard, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood stars Justin Timberlake (R) and Bill Murray inspect the Ryder Cup on the first tee during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Phil Mickelson of the USA plays a bunker shot during the third preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 26, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood star Bill Murray clowns around with the gallery during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood star Bill Murray hits his tee shot on the second hole during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood star Bill Murray clowns around with the Ryder Cup on the first tee during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood star Justin Timberlake watches a tee shot during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Europe's Lee Westwood flexes his muscle for captain Jose Maria Olazabal at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Golf fans watch the play during a practice round during the second preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Justin Rose and Ian Poulter of Europe during the second preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: A detailed shot of the pants worn by Bill Murray during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood star Bill Murray clowns around with the gallery during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Actress Jessica Biel watches the play of Justin Timberlake during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Caddies joke around over during the European team official photograph during the second preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: USA Team captain Davis Love III and Tiger Woods pose with the trophy during the official photocall during the second preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal during the second preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Peter Lawrie of Europe signs autographs for spectators during the second preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson of the USA share a joke during the second preview day of The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood star Justin Timberlake watches a tee shot during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood stars Justin Timberlake and Bill Murray clown around on the second tee during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Actress Jessica Biel (R) watches the play of Justin Timberlake during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Actress Jessica Biel watches the play of Justin Timberlake during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood stars Justin Timberlake (R) and Bill Murray inspect the Ryder Cup on the first tee during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood star Bill Murray clowns around with the Ryder Cup on the first tee during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Actress Jessica Biel watches the play of Justin Timberlake during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Hollywood star Bill Murray clowns around with the Ryder Cup on the first tee during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Actress Jessica Biel watches the play of Justin Timberlake during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(L-R) Laurae Westwood and Katie Poulter celebrate following Europe's victory in the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Europe's wives and girlfriends during the closing ceremony at Celtic Manor, Newport
Amy Mickelson watches the play of her husband Phil Mickelson in the singles matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales
European Team Captain Colin Montgomerie walks with his wife Gaynor following Europe's 14.5 to 13.5 victory over the USA at the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Europe's wives and girlfriends during the closing ceremony during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport
Diane Donald waits for her husband Luke Donald at the third green during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport
Christina Zimmer, girlfriend of USA's Jeff Overton, supports her boyfriend during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport
Phil Mickelson of the USA walks with his wife Amy and teammates Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson after the singles matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Lisa Pavin and Amy Mickelson of the USA watch the play during the singles matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Diane Donald watches her husband Luke in the singles matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales
USA Team Captain Corey Pavin's wife Lisa rides in a buggy during the singles matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Dustin Johnson's partner Amanda Caulder looks on during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Luke Donald of Europe smiles with wife Diane during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Singer Katherine Jenkins performs during Welcome To Wales at Millennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Singer Katherine Jenkins performs during Welcome To Wales at Millennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Singer Katherine Jenkins performs during Welcome To Wales at Millennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins performs on stage at the 2010 Ryder Cup Welcome To Wales Celebration Concert with members of the American and European Ryder Cup teams at the Milliennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Katherine Jenkins performs during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Katherine Jenkins waves during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Katherine Jenkins waves during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Katherine Jenkins
The Prince of Wales meets actress Catherine Zeta Jones, right, and presenter Steve Jones at the Welcome to Wales concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff ahead of the Ryder Cup
The Prince of Wales meets actress Catherine Zeta Jones, right, and presenter Steve Jones at the Welcome to Wales concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff ahead of the Ryder Cup
Katherine Jenkins, Dame Shirley Bassey and Catherine Zeta Jones at the Welcome to Wales concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff ahead of the Ryder Cup
Martin Kaymer of the European Ryder Cup team poses with partner Allison Micheletti prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Martin Kaymer of the European Ryder Cup team poses with partner Allison Micheletti prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Europe captain Colin Montgomerie's wife Gaynor (right) and USA captain Corey Pavin's wife Lisa (left) with other wives and girlfriends during the opening ceremony during the opening Ceremony at Celtic Manor, Newport
Lisa Pavin (left), wife of Corey Pavin, and Gaynor Montgomerie (right), wife of Colin Montgomerie during the opening Ceremony at Celtic Manor, Newport
Lisa Pavin leads out the USA team wives during the Ryder Cup opening Ceremony at Celtic Manor, Newport
USA's Zach Johnson (second left) with his wife Kim Johnson (left), Tiger Woods (centre) and Stewart Cink (right) after the ceremony during the Ryder Cup opening Ceremony at Celtic Manor, Newport
Phil and Amy Mickelson leave the Ryder Cup opening Ceremony at Celtic Manor, Newport
Tiger Woods (centre) and other members of the US Ryder Cup team accompanied by their wives and girlfriends on stage at the Welcome to Wales concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff ahead of the Ryder Cup
The European Team's Wives and Girlfriends pose together: (L-R) Front Row, Laurae Westwood (Lee Westwood), Holly Sweeney (Rory McIlroy), Valentina Molinari (Francesco Molinari), Gaynor Montgomerie (Colin Montgomerie), Diane Donald (Luke Donald), Allison Micheletti (Martin Kaymer), Marian Jimenez (Miguel Angel Jimenez), Back row Alison McGinley (Paul McGinley), Caroline Harrington (Padraig Harrington), Pernilla Bjorn (Thomas Bjorn), Katie Poulter (Ian Poulter), Anna Roscio (Edoardo Molinari), Alison Campbell (Darren Clarke), Sanna Hanson (Peter Hanson) and Jo Fisher (Ross Fisher) prior to the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
(L-R) Lisa Pavin, Amy Mickelson, Kandi Harris girlfriend of Hunter Mahan and Angie Watson girlfriend of Bubba Watson stand during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Team Captain of the USA Corey Pavin (R) and Wife Lisa, and Colin Montgomerie of Europe and Wife Gaynor lead out the players and their wives and girlfriends during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Team Captain Colin Montgomerie of Europe and Wife Gaynor stand together during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Team Captain of the USA Corey Pavin and Wife Lisa stand together during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Amy and Phil Mickelson walk together during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Team Captain of the USA Corey Pavin (R) and Wife Lisa and Colin Montgomerie of Europe and Wife Gaynor lead out the players and their wives and girlfriends during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Amy and Phil Mickelson walk together during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Amy Mickelson waves during the Opening Ceremony prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 30, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Luke Donald and Diane Donald attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Martin Kaymer and partner Allison Michelett attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Lee Westwood and Laurae Westwood attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Padraig Harrington and Caroline Harrington attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Ian Poulter and Katie Poulter attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Ross Fisher and Joanne Fisher attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
American Ryder Cup Team Captain Corey Pavin (C) poses with America team wives as they attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Edoardo Molinari and partner Anna Roscio attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets the wives and girlfriends of the European team at the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Holly Sweeney and Rory McIlroy attend the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle, on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Corey Pavin and his wife Lisa Pavin, along with members of the United States Ryder Cup team, walk onstage during Welcome To Wales at Millennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy Mickelson, along with members of the United States Ryder Cup team, walk onstage during Welcome To Wales at Millennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Singer Dame Shirley Bassey and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones perform during Welcome To Wales at Millennium Stadium on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and his wife Gaynor Montgomerie arriving at the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Phil Mickelson of the USA with his wife Amy Mickelson during the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
United States Team captain Corey Pavin with his wife Lisa Pavin during the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales
Ryder Cup: European Team wives and girlfriends
European Ryder Cup team vice-captain Thomas Bjorn poses with his wife Pernilla prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
European Ryder Cup team vice-captain Paul McGinley poses with his wife Alison prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Ross Fisher of the European Ryder Cup team poses with his wife Jo prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Edoardo Molinari (left-center) of the European Ryder Cup team poses with his partner Anna Roscio alongside his brother Francesco Molinari and his wife Valentina prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Francesco Molinari of the European Ryder Cup team poses with his wife Valentina prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Rory McIlroy of the European Ryder Cup team poses with his partner Holly Sweeney prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Luke Donald of the European Ryder Cup team poses with his wife Diane prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Miguel Angel Jimenez of the European Ryder Cup poses with partner Marian Jimenez prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
European Ryder Cup team captain Colin Montgomerie poses with his wige Gaynor prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
The wives and partners of the European Ryder Cup team members pose prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Padraig Harrington of the European Ryder Cup team poses with his wife Caroline prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
The wives and partners of the European Ryder Cup team members pose prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
European Ryder Cup team vice-captain Paul McGinley poses with his wife Alison prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
European Ryder Cup team vice-captain Darren Clarke poses with his partner Alison Campbell prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010 in Newport, Wales
Rory McIlroy poses with Holly Sweeney prior to the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at the Celtic Manor Resort on September 29, 2010
Amy Mickelson, wife of Phil Mickelson arrives during the Ryder Cup opening Ceremony at Celtic Manor, Newport

It was inevitable – but not necessarily right – that the American high command should target Rory McIlroy here over these next few days.

They have done it in one of the most overtly aggressive Ryder Cup initiatives since Corey Pavin 21 years ago donned his Desert Storm cap and whipped up the people in South Carolina for what would always be known as the War on the Shore.



Yes, of course, everyone knows that McIlroy, despite the weekend lapse which cost him roughly £7m and some of the most astonishing momentum golf has ever seen, is just one sunny mood change away from his most unanswerable game.



The long Medinah course in the suburbs of Chicago, which has twice seen Tiger Woods claim major titles, is a custom-made stage for the young Irishman who has, like the Tiger 15 years ago, not so much come to dominate the game as besiege its senses.



It is true that two years ago in a rain-sodden Welsh valley McIlroy could do no better than finish with a win, a half and a loss, but he was 21 and still unformed in his understanding of what the Ryder Cup had come to mean to such major winners as Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Sir Nick Faldo. He mistook the Ryder Cup for exhibition golf, which was a bit like confusing the local pitch-and-putt course with the back nine at Augusta.



He knows so much more now, and not least the aura and the requirements he carries with him every time he walks on to a golf course, and so naturally the American captain, Davis Love III, and permanent patriot Paul Azinger have been stressing their team's No 1 imperative.



Stop McIlroy, they say, and Europe will be cut off at the pass.



But will they? The suspicion must be that they will find other routes.



The fact is that Europe's key figure could well be the one who will not be asked to fire a single shot. While McIlroy can accept sole responsibility for gaining just one point, in Sunday's singles, his captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, will attempt to shape every one of the 14 that will be enough for Europe to retain the trophy.



At 46, the man from the Basque country will attempt to nurture and cajole, pick up points of pressure and try to resolve them through his three-day watch but this isn't the only certainty of his performance. He will also have another priority, one that was burnt into his brain – and perhaps even his soul – by his beloved compatriot Ballesteros in Valderrama 15 years ago.



It was supposed to be the great man's crowning triumph at the end of a superb Ryder Cup career – and in a way it became so when Colin Montgomerie sent down the putt which delivered the tightest of victories.



But that unforgettable moment came after a taut scene which may well, all these years on, have a huge influence on the way Olazabal tackles the challenge he has yearned for with a special force since being overlooked in favour of Montgomerie two years ago.



At the end of a brilliant surge through the four-balls and foursomes – in which he took three-and-a-half points – Olazabal found himself locked in a fierce battle with Lee Janzen. Ballesteros – the great inspiration of Olazabal's life – charged down the fairway on his buggy. He was, after all, not so much the captain of Europe as the source of its most passionate emotion. The captain plainly had so much advice to offer. But the player raised a restraining hand and hunched over his shot.



At the end of the round Olazabal was a shot down and we can only guess at the extent of the pain he felt in front of his home crowd. However, Europe won and it is necessary to believe that Olazabal learnt lessons that day which he would never forget.



There was, surely, a hint of this in Chicago this week when he declared: "I'm going to be myself. I will not be all over the players as they know their strengths better than I do. I shall just remind them how great this week is. Yes, I will show some emotion."



It is a resource that has always been close at hand. Ian Poulter, not always the most reflective of characters, at least not when he addresses his wardrobe and that old belief of his that one day the only occupants of golf's most significant terrain would be the Tiger and himself, believes the captain is vital to European prospects. "Everyone breathes the passion of the Ryder Cup through Olly," he says.



He first displayed it on a big stage with a famous dance routine at the moment of victory under Tony Jacklin in Jack Nicklaus's lair of Dublin, Ohio, in 1987. At 21 he had reason enough for his flamenco snap, after winning three out of four points with Ballesteros as Europe built an unassailable advantage going into the singles.



Four years later, he was immense in the War on the Shore, sharing a 2 and 1 victory with Ballesteros over Azinger and Chip Beck that was at times almost as elemental as a fist fight. Ballesteros duelled ferociously with his sworn enemy Azinger. Olazabal, the devoted acolyte, attended to his business with a brilliant touch in the short game which would eventually bring him two Green Jackets at Augusta.



When he won the second of those, in 1999, the force of his emotion was something you would never forget. It came five years after his first success and it was more than a triumph of golf. It had been an act of supreme will. For a while he couldn't walk for the pain in his feet, a condition which threatened to send him into a wheelchair. But he always said that he would win in the end and he fought for it with all the resolution that the Americans must overcome before dusk comes to Medinah on Sunday.



They are right about McIlroy and his ability to perform the most remarkable deeds. He is, no doubt, the star of the European show. But then, he may not be the ultimate strength. That may well be the spirit of the man who got up from his bed and walked.

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