So the two captains have named their pairings for the opening set of matches and the 37th Ryder Cup is almost upon us. Earlier this afternoon Nick Faldo completed his final practice day press conference in which he answered various questions about his tactics and his team. These media events are often quite boring but they are also, occasionally brilliant the one we just witnessed fell into the latter category.
It was bizarre. At the start he was remarkably cagey saying that he didnt have to justify why he put certain players together and that he didnt know who would be playing tomorrow afternoon. Then, just as we all began to doze off, he was asked about how he felt meeting Mohammed Ali earlier today. He started crying Yes, thats right, Nick Faldo cried. Unbelievable. The mood in the room soon lifted as the hoards of press had something vaguely interesting to write about. Feeding off their high spirits Faldo went on to talk about how his pairings had made their way into the media after being spotted written down on the back of a sandwich packet. Faldo joked that if we see him eating a tuna sandwich tomorrow it means that a certain player will play all five matches. (Ill let you into a little secret. I laughed along like everyone else but I didnt get the gag. I still don’t.)
Then, soon after the press conference it was time for the opening ceremony and Faldo again found himself in the spotlight. Another bizarre experience in which the tone of his lengthy speech jumped between wedding and gameshow host. He began by introducing the 20,000 crowd to every member of his family, telling us what they all do for a living. Why we need to know that his eldest daughter is in the film industry, Im not sure. Then it was time to introduce his players – If youre lucky he might blow you a kiss, its Sergio Garcia Yes, ladies hes single. Its Graeme McDowell Hes the first Dane to play in the Ryder Cup, after Thomas Bjorn. That makes him a great Dane. Soren Stenson. Woops, I mean Hanson.
Whether Faldos reputation over the last two hours has improved or deteriorated Im not quite sure. What I do know however, is that he is doing things his own way. Hes making his mark. Tomorrow well see if hes able to get as much from his players as we get from his speeches. I cant wait.