Bernhard Langer is at Medinah this week, the man who led Europe to its third and last victory in the Ryder Cup on American soil, at Oakland Hills in 2004.
Yesterday, he took part in a par 3 contest with 2006 American Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, losing 3 and 1 to the delight of the American crowd.
“The excitement around here is fantastic, and to see people come out to the golf course in their thousands just to see a practice round – it’s phenomenal,” said Langer, who joked about home-field advantage on congratulating Lehman. “It is a unique event, and there are more emotions flying around this place than at any other tournament I can think of.”
Emotions have certainly been rising to the surface already this week. Davis Love choked up yesterday when considering the importance of Phil Mickelson to his team, and Bubba Watson looked on the verge of tears throughout his press conference this morning, admitting he would shed many tears as the week progresses. No surprises there.
You get emotional with everything, and it is worse for the captain,” says Langer, who spoke to members of Jose Maria Olazabal’s 2012 European team in the locker room on Wednesday. “As captain, you see and here everything but you can’t do anything about it.”
Like everyone else at Medinah, Langer can’t wait for the action to start today.
“Friday morning is show time,” he adds. “In 2004, I just said to my players: go do your thing. Play your golf, and don’t worry about who you are playing against and what they are doing. Focus on your stuff, enjoy the moment and I will see you later.
“You do not need to babysit the players and tell them every single thing. They are all professionals. They are here because they are the best players we have. They have played in many majors and they have won lots of tournaments. They are great champions and great players.”
Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the 2012 Ryder Cup