Friday 2 December 2016

'You could hear a pin drop when Paul O'Connell spoke to the European team' - Darren Clarke

Carl Markham

Published 28/09/2016 | 17:38

Former Ireland and Munster rugby player Paul OConnell of Europe during the Celebrity Matches at The 2016 Ryder Cup Matches at the Hazeltine
Former Ireland and Munster rugby player Paul OConnell of Europe during the Celebrity Matches at The 2016 Ryder Cup Matches at the Hazeltine

Former British and Irish Lions captain Paul O'Connell provided the motivation while magician Dynamo merely produced bewilderment in Europe's team room.

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The pair were invited behind the scenes by Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke to meet the players on Tuesday evening.

O'Connell spoke about his experiences in rugby and his view on team sport.

"There's definitely a lot that he brought," said England's Justin Rose.

"The passion is what he really brought and just how important it is to be part of a team.

"Not necessarily be part of a team but make your team better for future generations and be accountable to the number on the back of your shirt.


"Obviously that can be very much easily transferred to our team this week in the sense of every single one of us has an honour to represent ourselves and the team in the best way possible and leave it in a better place for the next team in two years' time."

Dynamo had a different effect on the players, performing one card trick on Rory McIlroy which left the world number three and his team-mates flummoxed.

"Yeah, he was great, very impressive. Before I knew it I was back in bed and I didn't even walk to my room," said Henrik Stenson.

"It's just impressive to see someone being that good at what they do but at the same time it's annoying that you can't figure out how he does it. It's a bittersweet combo really."

Clarke was pleased with how the evening went.

"Paul most definitely was exceptional in the team room last night," said the Northern Irishman.

"You could have heard a pin drop whenever Paul was addressing them.

"The team and the caddies were unbelievably impressed with the words that he gave us last night so I was very thankful for him to come along and do that.

"The guys were thoroughly inspired."

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