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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 September, 2004, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Wednesday's Ryder Cup diary
By John Mathews
BBC Sport at Oakland Hills

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan was drafted in to inspire the Americans

European skipper Bernhard Langer revealed a generous side to his nature by presenting each of his players with an engraved Rolex watch on the way out to the Ryder Cup.

US counterpart Hal Sutton was forced to admit the expensive gesture had put him under a lot of pressure to match Langer with presents for his team.

Sutton said he has also arranged a gift for the Americans, but was cagey about what it might be.

Pressed further to spill the beans, he said, somewhat implausibly: "A Lamborghini."


Padraig Harrington's cousin, Joey
Joey Harrington in action for the Detroit Lions

One of Detroit's favourite sporting stars has given his support to Europe's Padraig Harrington this weekend, despite being a passionate supporter of the American team.

Joey Harrington, who plays quarterback for the Detroit Lions, is Padraig's cousin and the duo have already taken the chance to catch up.

However, Joey won't be watching Padraig much this weekend - he has his own big match on Sunday as the Lions host the Houston Texans in the NFL in front of 68,000 fans.

"I heard from someone that he was hoping I play well and win my match but the US team wins, which is pretty fair," said Padraig.


Sutton has been keen to stress how much store he has put by the bonding process in building confidence in the run-up to the Ryder Cup.

He observed how moved his players were by an inspirational speech given by none other than NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan at an official team dinner this week.

Sutton said: "Michael talked about how special he felt the Ryder Cup team was and I couldn't help but think how every guy in that room had to feel special that he thought they were special."

How, er, special.


Michael Jordan will not be short of big-name celebrity company at Oakland Hills this week, with stars such as Samuel L Jackson, Macy Gray and Donald Trump due to show up at Thursday's opening ceremony.

Disappointingly, there is no news on the possible appearance of local-born heroes Eminem and Madonna.

It's said they are huge golf fans though.

Possibly.


The questions keep on coming about the likely behaviour of the crowds in Michigan.

PGA of America president MG Orender was asked what additional measures will be in place for Colin Montgomerie, who has suffered terrible verbal abuse at the hands of the Americans in the past.

Deadpan, Orender replied: "If we have to, we'll put in more security to protect the fans."


SEE ALSO
Tuesday's Ryder Cup diary
14 Sep 04  |  Golf



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