Dyson lives up to Ryder billing



Simon Dyson. It was the first name on Paul McGinley's teamsheet and the first out of Ian Poulter's mouth when asked who he expected to graduate from this Seve Trophy to next year's Ryder Cup.

The scoreboard backed up both of them; McGinley for entrusting the Yorkshire man "as my No 1" and Poulter for his prescience. These are early days in the race for Chicago, 2012 – indeed, the gun is still ringing down the fairways – but already Dyson has established himself as a contender, if not a probable.

Two wins in his last six events – including, for the third time, last week's Dutch Open – have hurtled Dyson into the world's top 30. And yesterday's victory in the company of the rookie Jamie Donaldson to lead the way to a commanding 4-1 Great Britain & Ireland advantage after the first-day fourballs only added further validation to the sense that here is a natural team man.

"It's not just the way he plays, but it's his personality as well," said McGinley, who once again asks Dyson to play the hare in today's fourballs. "Some players get such a buzz out of team play. Simon is one of them and, for me, it's just a case of lighting the spark and letting him go. He would have been my No 1 two years ago, but there was a guy called Rory [McIlroy] who was quite good in that role, too."

Some commendation. But then, Dyson, a member of the victorious 1999 Walker Cup side, has appeared in this biennial event twice before and both times his performances earned him assured nods as a future Ryder Cupper. The years in between, however, saw him fall shy, two years ago most painfully when seeing his challenge die in the very last qualifying event. Now, however, the 33-year-old finally feels ready.

"Definitely – to make that team is a big goal of mine," said Dyson, before adding a cautionary caveat. "I've seen a few of my good friends who focused everything on the Ryder Cup and it ruined their games. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing."

What he keeps doing is knocking it close and making the putt. Of course, there's rather more to the rededication of Dyson, a man who enjoyed the lifestyle so enthusiastically as a young professional he was urged by his father to work harder. Dyson has recently employed a full-time personal trainer – "James Thompson; I stole him from the Marriott gym in Manchester" – and a nutritionist. "I drink only water. No coke, no caffeine, just water," he said, caressing the bottle of mineral water in his hand with the adoration of a tramp with his Special Brew.

Dyson has plainly committed himself and stir this in with his current mood and the mix should be rousing for next year's Ryder Cup captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, here in a watching role. "It all started at the Open in July," said Dyson, thinking back to his ninth-placed finish. "I actually went away from Sandwich thinking, 'I could win one of these'. That is the first time I've felt that going away from a major and the confidence it gave me was tremendous."

Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal would testify to the inexorable quality of his roll. The Spanish pair assembled eight birdies in 17 holes, yet still found themselves beaten 2&1.

It was a similar story for most of the Continentals – apart from Peter Hanson and home hero, Raphaël Jacquelin. They were actually over par when losing 6&4 to Ross Fisher and Scott Jamieson, a fact Jean van de Velde struggled to comprehend. "Enlighten me like a three-year-old," he said. "How do two men of that calibre on a course like this finish over par as a better ball? I don't understand."

* England's Justin Rose yesterday stormed back into form, scoring a superb 63, eight under par, to claim a two-shot lead in the first round of the BMW Championship at Cog Hill, Illinois.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little