US captain Love admits he can’t sleep
IN the phoney war of words and bluff that rumbles on here until the action starts tomorrow, it was the United States captain, Davis Love III, who blinked first.
His poker face imploded as he fought back tears when talking yesterday about how much it means to him to represent the US. Europe’s Jose Maria Olazabal, by contrast, has been one cool cat.
Captain Love is showing signs of wilting under the pressure. He looked tired even before his eyes began to well up. The stress is showing.
“I haven’t been getting to bed until 2.30am thinking about my team,” he said. “Never mind thinking about theirs. I’ve had lots of thought about pairings but haven’t put pencil to the paper yet.” Pencil? How about pen? Time is running out.
The enormity of the occasion and the responsibility he feels for the Stars and Stripes is clearly weighing heavy on his laid-back shoulders.
“It seems every two years, everything doubles,” he said referring to how important the Ryder Cup is to America, not just golf.
“There are sports fans who don’t know much about golf apart from the Ryder Cup.
“We just went through the Olympics,” Love added. “This is getting like the Olympics for our country.” He sounded like the expectations of a superpower were dawning on him.
The players, too, are not protected from the white-hot spotlight. It’s a wonder only Love, so far, has been in need of a tissue or a stiff drink. Every single player, all 24 of them, is frog-marched into press conferences one after the other, from Tuesday to Thursday.
It’s a gargantuan preview on a seemingly never-ending loop.