Celtic Manor Diary: Bring on the boos... Mahan has a plan to provoke the crowds
With 50,000 spectators filing through the gates of Celtic Manor each day, US captain Corey Pavin's dream is not to hear a single cheer. "Quiet would be good," he said. That would mean his team is winning. Perhaps he should have a word with Hunter Mahan. The 28-year-old from Orange, California has his own plan. He likes noise. Lots of it. "I love that edgy atmosphere with the spectators almost being like a football crowd," Mahan said. "You know, you almost want the crowd to boo us."
Mahan has a reputation as a hustler on tour, too, playing money games in practice rounds. And he's not afraid to play hardball into competition, too. "In certain situations, it's fun to trash-talk," he said. "Sometimes I wish I was good at basketball because that sport is so one-on-one. You just look at the guy in front of you and work out how to beat him. I love that it's mano-a-mano. That's why it's great when we play match play. I love it. I wish we would play more." Pavin nearly fell off his chair when he heard. Mahan speaks softly but behind his wraparound shades, there's clearly a cold-blooded gunslinger. Think David Duval meets Dirty Harry.
Imagine the reaction had Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole been forced to wear the same outfit. Just try to picture whinging and pyrotechnics. But the golf WAGs look only too happy to be uniformed into two gleaming rows of highly coiffed automatons – the Yanks in crimson, looking like serried ranks of Virgin Atlantic stewardesses, the Europeans in a chaste version of the same, channelling Princess Grace. If a Barbie doll analogy is only too easy, how about comparing them to the envisioned dystopia of The Handmaid's Tale, where women are colour co-ordinated according to whether they are wives, mistresses or slaves. That's a golfing colour chart I'd love to see.
Big Brother: the Ryder Cup special
A film crew is recording behind-the-scenes insight at the Ryder Cup for the first time. The footage is being shot for a DVD by the same company that recorded Living With Lions, the story of the 1997 British & Irish Lions rugby tour to South Africa. Expect Sergio Garcia ranting, Ian Poulter whingeing about Twittergate, Monty's motivational monologues, Rory McIlroy wigs aplenty, caddie pranks, beer, karaoke and lots of football chants. Sales should be, ahem, interesting if the Americans win. The DVD could go straight to Betamax.
Caddies swell the ranks of Monty's army
The rookie Peter Hanson has revealed part of Seve Ballesteros's inspirational message to the Europeans. "Go get them so hard that they'll all be caddies in the future." Now that's fighting talk. And Seve should know how tough a caddie's lot is for that is how Europe's most celebrated Ryder Cup player started out at his home course in Pedrena, northern Spain.
Seve's former bagman Billy Foster now loops for Lee Westwood and is Europe's caddie captain. The 12 caddies are integral to Colin Montgomerie's team this year rather than being relegated to second-class citizens. "This is the best tournament in the world. It makes any major championship feel like a pro-am to me," Foster said.
Phil Morbey, once with Ian Woosnam, now with rookie Ross Fisher is rather pumped up for this biennial battle, too. "I love to get stuck in and wallop the Yanks. That is what it is all about," Morbey said.
What Twitter ban?
* Gmac on the massage table getting worked on for the tomorrow. come on the boys.
* I have never been so excited to play a Ryder cup match, Tiger Woods Steve Stricker vs Poults & Fish the house is about to come down.
* Here is the picture of when I met HRH The Prince of Wales at Cardiff castle.
What's on the menu
Really essential Ryder Cup knowledge. Caterers have, err, catered for 20,000 portions of fish & chips, 15,000 burgers, 7,000 pies, 5,000 steak baguettes, 40,000 sandwiches, 55,000 breakfast rolls, 5,000 bottles of champagne, 132,000 pints of beer, 10,000 bottles of wine, 1,500kg of Welsh cheeses – and 30,000 toilet rolls.
Today Heavy rain in the morning, becoming lighter and drier during the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 17C
Tomorrow Mainly dry and bright, becoming increasingly cloudier later in the day. Maximum temperature: 18C
Sunday Conditions will be wet and windy for the majority of the day, with a strong wind. Maximum temperature: 16C
Monday Sunny and cloudy for most of the day, with a chance of rain in the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 16C
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