The European Ryder Cup team received a motivating phone call from none other than Ryder Cup legend Seve Ballesteros ahead of this weekend’s competition at Celtic Manor.
The 53-year-old, who played in eight Ryder Cups and was a winning captain in 1997, will not be able to attend the event due to poor health, having suffered a brain tumour in 2008.
But European skipper Colin Montgomerie was delighted the Spaniard was able to put in the call to his troops.
“The whole team spoke to Seve for about 10 minutes and that was very motivational, very passionate and also very sad to hear him, to hear the way he is,” he said.
“It was a real inspiration, especially for the rookies in the team, to speak to Seve and have Seve speak to them. It was on a speakerphone in our team room.
“We were just honoured to have him, have his presence in the room. It’s always nice to not ever feel that Seve is forgotten by us or by European golf in any way, shape or form.
“It definitely bonds a team, if it needed bonding, together, very close, when Seve, our legend, speaks to us.
“It was just a very passionate speech that he used to give to the team 13 years ago when he was captain.
“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 and he couldn’t make it.”
Welsh rugby hero Gareth Edwards also met the team determined to win back the trophy they lost in Valhalla in 2008.
“It was protocol that I invited Gareth down to speak in our team room as the captain of the Celtic Manor Resort,” added Montgomerie.
“Gareth is a legend in these parts and has to be Wales’s most famous sportsman of all time. We had a fantastic speech by him.
“And I think it was only right to get Seve on the phone. Seve is our Ryder Cup and always will be.
“I just feel it was right for the rookies to hear that passion more than motivation from two of Europe’s greatest sportsmen.
“I don’t feel that the need of motivation was there. The passion was there. But motivation, we don’t need motivation. Motivation came from losing two years ago.”