Europe stars to pay Seve outfit tribute

Europe's players are set to pay tribute to the late Seve Ballesteros by dressing in his image for the singles at this week's Ryder Cup.

Golf News: Seve Ballesteros

Ballesteros, who died in May last year after a long battle with cancer, captained Europe to victory in his native Spain in 1997 after playing in the biennial contest eight times, forming an amazingly successful partnership with current skipper Jose Maria Olazabal.

And while Olazabal would not confirm that the plan is for his team to wear the navy jumper and trousers and white shirt so associated with Ballesteros, he has already consulted United States captain Davis Love on the issue.

"I talked to Davis Love about that and he was very understanding of it and I will say no more at the moment," Olazabal said. "Seve is going to be there in our team in some way or form.

"We are going to miss him a lot. It's the first time he is not going to be with us. He was a special man."

Team member Paul Lawrie, quoted in Bunkered magazine, had previously said: "I don't know for sure but the word is that we're wearing navy trousers, navy sweaters and white shirts like Seve always wore in the final round of majors. I think that will be our singles outfit.

"I don't know that for certain but a few of the boys have mentioned that and I think that if that is indeed the case, there could be no more fitting a tribute to a guy like Seve than having 12 of the best players in Europe wearing his outfit on the final day of the Ryder Cup. If that's how they're going to do it, then it's absolutely bang on."

Love added: "Seve meant a lot to the Ryder Cup in general. He will be watching over our team as well.

"On both sides we have a lot of emotion. We've just lost Maria Floyd (the wife of former captain Ray Floyd, who died earlier this month), but that's what the Ryder Cup is about on top of all the other emotions."

Only three members of the European team - Lawrie, Francesco Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts - were with Olazabal on the flight from London to Chicago, with five others having played in the Tour Championship which finished in Atlanta yesterday and the remainder all having homes in America.

But Olazabal insisted missing out on some time for team bonding on the plane - previously a major feature of Ryder Cup week - was not a problem.

"It feels a little strange but there's no surprise," Olazabal said. "I don't see that as a disadvantage to be honest. We have always been a close team and they are all going to be there by the time I get to the hotel.

"We will have a relaxing time and we'll chat together and will create that bond. I think the most important thing is the passion that everyone brings into the team and into the game itself.

"You have to make your players believe that you're playing for something really special, that it's a unique moment. It only happens once every two years and you let them realise that there are moments that are unique to this event, that won't happen anywhere else in any other tournament."

Much has been made of the possible influence of the Chicago crowd at Medinah, and although both captains stressed the mutual respect between the teams, Love admitted the local fans would be "fired up" when the contest gets under way on Friday.

"When we travel over there it's tough on us and when they travel over here it's tough on them," he added. "Chicago is an incredible sports town and they are going to be fired up.

"I think the first tee could be the loudest any of these guys have ever heard to start off a golf tournament. I expect a lot of passion. I expect if we are winning holes it's going to get pretty loud out there and that's what home-field advantage is all about.

"As Jose-Maria said, that's what you prepare these guys (the players) for. You have to tell them, 'Hey, this is going to be something like you've never seen before'.

"And we both know what the good cheers sound like and what the bad cheers sound like. We'll try to get them going loud in our favour."

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