NICOLAS COLSAERTS colourfully proclaimed his return from the dead at Medinah yesterday, while Sergio Garcia easily could have!
Colsaerts is Belgium's first Ryder Cup player, but this highly-talented 29-year-old hits the golf ball so far, he's expected to make quite an impact on the most intimidating event in golf.
The No 3 Course at Medinah has been set-up for scoring, giving the home team every chance to whip the sports-mad Chicago public into a frenzy.
Yet it's length and the absence of rough also will play into the hands of European boomers like Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and, of course, Colsaerts, who hits his average drive 317.7 yards, nearly two yards further than America's longest, Masters champion Bubba Watson.
Yet it's staggering to think how close Colsaerts came to frittering away a phenomenal sporting talent. A wild party animal in his early 20s, he neglected his golf game so badly, it completely deserted him.
"It's quite an achievement for me to make it to the Ryder Cup," said Colsaerts yesterday, his eyes still wide with awe at the vast scale of this event.
"When you look back and see where I was three years ago, I'm just the perfect example that if you want something badly enough and you have the heart and passion to put the work in, anything is achievable," he said.
"It almost feels like I've come back from the dead, which is a bit of a weapon," he added. "We all go through phases in our lives, especially when you're an athlete. There aren't many examples in sport of everything going to plan and I'm certainly not one of them. But I'm kind of proud of my story."
Colsaerts is spurred to work ever harder by painful memories of hitting rock bottom in golf.
"I remember watching tournament golf on TV and thinking I should be on the other side of that screen.
"It was pretty difficult just looking at stuff other people were doing, people that I'd beaten pretty regularly before. It's pretty sad when you're 25 and you know you still have a lot of years in front of you and you don't produce anything that's going to get you back there."
Sergio Garcia also knows what it's like on the dark side. Back in 1999, when he was still known as El Nino, the Spaniard electrified the Medinah fairways with his famous hop, skip and jump into second place behind Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship.
Thirteen years later, Garcia has emerged from an emotional wringer, his spirit restored at last after scarring defeats to Padraig Harrington at the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie and the following year's PGA, and heartbreak in his private life.
"I think Sergio is happy and relieved to come back to the Ryder Cup as a player," says European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
"Last time at Celtic Manor, he didn't hit a single shot and I think that made him realise how important it is to be a player in this team.
"I remember his words when we were having a chat a couple of years ago and he said: 'If I'd known it was going to be like this, I wouldn't have come'."
Since ending a four-year victory drought with back-to-back wins at the Castello and Valderrama Masters last October, Garcia hit the high road to the Ryder Cup with last month's PGA Tour victory at The Wydham.
His spirit restored, Garcia's once again the life and soul of the European party this week, looking forward to burying painful memories of the 5&4 hammering he took from Anthony Kim in the singles at Valhalla.
Just like Colsaerts, he's back from the dead.
"Our whole country is interested, because it's the US team. We just went through an Olympics, and this is becoming like the Olympics for America," said Love.
"They realise that our team is going up against an unbelievable team from Europe and they want to see what happens."
US golfers' success of late, however, does not match results in the Olympics, where the United States won the most gold medals and most medals overall in the London Games.
Europe have won four of the last five Cup competitions. Love said the tide could soon turn and with the teams so evenly matched, the outcome would likely hinge on putting.
"I think it comes down to putting," Love said. "A chip-in here or there maybe, but it generally comes down to which team holes the most putts."