With the forthcoming Ryder Cup set to be the first one since the tragic death of Seve Ballesteros last year, there is sure to be plenty of emotion attached to the competition. Fortunately, it looks as though the European’s are at least looking to pay tribute to the late Spaniard, with Jose Maria Olazabal claiming that the team have plenty of plans to make it a special tournament.
Ballesteros lost his fight against cancer in May 2011 and his loss was grieved by the golf world. Not only did he possess a splendid individual record, but his form in the Ryder Cup was second to none and he incredibly played in the event eight times. Moreover, this year’s captain Olazabal was more than familiar with his fellow countryman, with the pair appearing together numerous times during the doubles matches of the event.
Considering Olazabal’s close association with Ballesteros, there was never any doubt that Europe would honour Seve. Fortunately, it also looks as though the American’s could be getting in on the act after Olazabal confirmed that he had held talks with his opposite number Davis Love.
Following on from the above, reports are suggesting that the European team will wear a navy jumper and trousers, along with a white shirt on the final day of the tournament. While this may seem like a fairly basic uniform to some, these were the traditional clothes that Ballesteros wore to most golf events and it would be a fantastic message from team Europe if they were to push through such plans.
The fact that the European team want to pay tribute to Ballesteros really should come as no surprise. The Spaniard was probably the inspiration for most of the players in the 12-man squad, with some of his display’s being some of the most memorable on a golf course. At times one could describe his play as unorthodox, but that didn’t stop him becoming one of the best, and most entertaining, players of all time. In total, he won the PGA Championship and the Masters on two occasions as well as 88 other wins on the professional tour. Admittedly, his career hit a decline in his later years due to a succession of injuries but for most people, that stage is forgotten. Practically everyone remembers Seve for the magic he produced on the golf course during his youth.
In fact, Olazabal has already recalled fond memories of his association with Ballesteros. Speaking to the press, the 46-year-old said that Seve really helped him through his first Ryder Cup event at Muirfield Village in 1987. Olazabal claimed that he was “shaking like a leaf” as he made his way up to the first tee, only to hear playing partner Seve issue words of complete reassurance and calm him down about the whole situation.
Many of Europe’s players will have merely been aspiring young golfers at the time of Ballesteros’ dominance and the fact they are following in his Ryder Cup footsteps is undoubtedly going to fill them with plenty of pride. Of course, there are also some who won’t be able to remember his success, with the prime example being Rory McIlroy who is still just 23-years-old. Nevertheless, despite McIlroy being one of the youngest men in the competition, he is expected to be key to Europe’s hopes of retaining the great trophy. However, the European’s will also likely rely on experience and the fact that Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia are both regarded as some of the best Ryder Cup players over recent history provides them with an even bigger platform for success.
Liam is a sports writer who loves all sports and taking advantage of betting offers on the Ryder Cup and other golfing competitions.