With Ryder Cup week now only seven days away, European captain Jose Maria Olazabal told the Belfast Telegraph that he plans to spend this week “just chilling out” at home and working on the captain’s address for the opening ceremony.
Good thing: A few years ago, it didn’t go so smoothly.
Nick Faldo, the 2008 European Ryder Cup captain at Valhalla, “introduced Soren Hansen as Soren Stenson, said Padraig Harrington hit as many golf balls as potatoes had been picked in Ireland, and asked Graeme McDowell if he was Irish or Northern Irish,” according to the report.
As for this year’s address, Olazabal conceded that he’s already nervous.
“For sure, that’s the part I feel more uncomfortable with,” he said, according to the report. “Obviously, it’s not our cup of tea, in the sense that we are not used to talking in front of millions of people week in, week out.”
U.S. captain Davis Love III has invited star athletes Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps to join the team at Medinah as advisors and motivators. Olazabal doesn’t expect to add any celebrity firepower, however.
“I think our clubs will have to do the talking,” he said.