Celtic Manor Diary: No pressure, Colin, but Ballesteros is the man to outshine

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Seve Ballesteros has been chosen as the best European captain of all time in a survey of British golf fans. The Spaniard polled 29 per cent of the vote for the inspirational way he led Europe to victory at Valderrama in 1997.

Britain's Tony Jacklin, who lost only once in four matches as captain between 1983 and 1989, was second on 24 per cent. Ballesteros, who competed in the competition eight times, was also selected as the most popular European player with 32 per cent of that vote, ahead of Nick Faldo (25 per cent). "It is extremely humbling for me to see the support I have from golf fans," said Seve. "I have always felt great support in the UK and every time I am there it's like being at home. The Ryder Cup is one of the greatest sporting events and holds a special place in my heart."

So what is to be made of the US team's attire? The Independent's fashion expert Harriet Walker gives her verdict: "Well done to the American Ryder Cup team, who have clearly been reading their September issues of Vogue ahead of their arrival. They were dressed to a man in this season's most on-trend wardobe item: the camel coat.

Boxy cut, beige blazers will be hanging off the rail-thin shoulders of some of the world's most stylish women this autumn; who knew golf could be so fashion forward? Sadly they've let themselves down on some of the finer points: camel hair is a unashamedly luxurious fabric, and ought to be the colour of a strong cup of tea. The golfers' jackets, meanwhile, seem to be made of polyester and are closer in shade to an old elastoplast. Top marks for effort though, boys."

Cink has last taste of tweet freedom

The Twitter ban may hit some players harder than others. Ian Poulter recently revelled in the fact of his acquiring more than one million followers. Will they be sufficiently bored by the silence over the big weekend to "unfollow" him in protest?

Shades of grey

But, of course, the ban is not active just yet. Stewart Cink was quick to inform his 1.2m followers (how's that for one-upmanship?) about the ban on social networking: "We're finally off to Wales!! Won't be tweeting until we get back. I guess I'll have to pass the down time actually reading or something," he reported sadly. But then, as if to prove the strength of the American team's freedom-loving (ie resistance to being told what to do), Cink risked the wrath of his captain Corey Pavin with a cheeky last tweet upon his arrival: "Okay I lied," he twittered defiantly. "Go USA y'all pull hard for us thanks!!! See you in a week!" Sounds like a rule-breaker. Pavin needs to watch out.

Prepared to fail?

The Americans revealed one area where they had plainly failed to prepare before their arrival. Namely in researching the weather. Who rocks up under the grey skies of Wales in late September sporting sunglasses? Sun protection is one area where you can definitely always save on the baggage allowance when heading for the Principality.

Americans earn top marks for effort

Europe's captain proved his commitment to the job and to preparation by going so far as to write a loser's speech ahead of the big tee-off. "I've had to prepare a runner-up speech, or the non-winning speech. If the result doesn't go our way I think it's important to prepare." Let's hope he doesn't need to test that particular version out on Sunday.