Fergie Motivates Ryder Cup TeamJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
Ryder Cup Europe captain Paul McGinley has called in former Man United boss Alex Ferguson to give a motivational speech to the team at Gleneagles tonight.
Ferguson, a long-time friend of assistant captain Sam Torrance, arrived earlier today in order to watch the European team in training this morning.
This isn’t the first time that an inspirational figure has been called in to rally the troops. Four years ago Welsh Rugby star Gareth Edwards made an appearance whilst Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola spoke to the European team two years ago at Medinah.
Fergie himself is a golf fan and has turned up to several Scottish events on the European Tour over the past few years. He is also thought to enjoy playing himself and is believed to have a handicap of 18.
“He’s a guy that I played with in the JP McManus pro-am about 15 years ago and that I’ve seen now and again over that time. When I became captain I asked him,” said McGinley of Ferguson’s appearance.
“Of course he was more than willing to help. But the one thing he asked me to do was keep it really quiet. Walking around (the course) is not keeping it quiet, is it? We wanted a bit of a surprise for the players but I guess it’s not a surprise.”
McGinley, who is actually a West Ham fan, commented “Although I’m a Hammers fan, I’ve always loved the way his team’s played and there are a number of things that he’s dealing with that he was particularly good at that I think he’ll be a particularly strong fit.”
He added, “He’s asked me a lot of questions and I know he’s very keen and looking forward to tonight. He’s a big fan of golf, as we know. He knows Rory [McIlroy] very well and Rory is a big Man United fan. Not everybody in the room is a Man United fan, so that should be a bit fun.”
It was also announced today as the team gathered for their photo call that McIlroy and Graeme McDowell are unlikely to be paired together on the course.
Despite an ongoing legal battle between their management representatives, McIlroy and McDowell have remained firm friends and were hoping to be partnered together as they so often are.
However, McGinley has decided to separate the Northern Irish duo for this year’s Ryder Cup but for tactical reasons unrelated to the court case.
For everything you need to know about the European Ryder Cup team, click here.