Saturday 17 March 2018

Monty helps fans create blue heaven

Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

POWER to the people. The spectators who have attended Celtic Manor have been bloody marvellous in adversity.

They have travelled from all corners of the globe; they have missed out on virtually a day and a half of the scheduled play -- and they have dug deep into their wallets for the privilege.

And still they cheered and showed commendable enthusiasm every chance they got when the golf was actually being played.

Rory McIlroy had his own coterie of followers who sourced curly and outrageously large 'Rory Wigs' from God-knows-where.

Some American fans dressed themselves from head-to-toe in red and white Stars 'n' Stripes gear to add colour to the occasion.

And when European captain Colin Montgomerie called for a greater effort after Saturday's play, they responded in style. Monty went so far as to ask that the scoreboards show less action and more of the scoreboards because of the amount of European blue up there.

The skipper felt that fans would be more energised if they saw, as they did starting out yesterday, the Europeans leading in all the matches.

"You'll see less action on the screens and more scoreboards because I've asked for that. We need momentum and passion, and the spectators are our 13th man out there," he said.

Monty, however, was a little too busy to meet up with an old adversary from his amateur days.

Killarney's honorary secretary Paul Murphy, who was at Celtic Manor with club captain Kieran O'Connor, beat Monty twice in the 1984 European Youths Team championship.

Murphy went on to play at senior level for Ireland and is one of only five Killarney members to have represented their country. The others were Dr Billy O'Sullivan, Michael Guerin, Eoghan O'Connell and Bridget Gleeson-Healy.

Irish Independent

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