Graeme McDowell, the Irish Ryder Cup rookie, is raring to go and says European captain Nick Faldo’s knowledge and guidance has been invaluable to the less experienced members of the team.
McDowell described his captain’s demeanour as “cool, calm and collected” and is happy to have a leader who has achieved so much in the game.
“I think it’s great. We’re kind of on the edge of our seats a little bit because we are waiting for the next nugget of wisdom that’s going to come out of his mouth. He was one of my heroes and he’s got a lot to give.
The Irishman highlighted the team’s discussion on the first tee, where the captain and players talked about what to expect on Friday morning.
“Getting on the first tee yesterday was a visualisation experience.
“We’ve got so many more guys adding so much more into the melting pot, the Sergios, Westwoods, Harringtons and guys with lots of experience on their sides.
“The main tip from the captain was hit the shot that you’re comfortable hitting and just believe in yourself really.”
A lot of the build up has revolved around pairings but McDowell insists he will feel comfortable whoever he partners.
“I think playing with an experienced guy, you be feel a little bit of pressure. Two rookies together might be able to slip under the radar and feed off each other and try to gain the experience themselves.
“We have a young, passionate team… there’s certainly not a guy on the team I wouldn’t want to tee it up with at any point this week.”
The Europeans have been seen signing hundreds of autographs over the practice days and winning the crowd over is something McDowell admitted the team had talked about.
“We certainly wanted to make the crowds feel like Europe wanted them to be there,” he said.
“It’s pretty tough, we have a hundred people waiting for us when we come off the greens… they come out here to watch us and it’s nice to treat them right and give them something back.”
McDowell also touched on fellow Irishmen Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke.
He said it was a massive boost to have Harrington on the team who is now considered “the best player in the world right now who is fit.”
Graeme revealed that Clarke, who missed out on a wildcard, told him to go out and enjoy himself, something that will be made a whole lot easier if he can find the first fairway on Friday.