26/09/2010 22:00
Canali's partnership with The European Team
 When it comes to Captain’s duties, choosing official clothing is probably one of the tasks that entails lower stress levels than wild card picks, for example. For Colin Montgomerie, making sartorial decisions has been a very democratic – although slightly daunting - process.
“Walking into the Canali flagship store on Bond Street is well out of my comfort zone, I have to say,” confessed the 2010 European Team Ryder Cup Captain, speaking at a private party hosted by luxury Italian menswear brand, Canali, recently to celebrate their ongoing partnership with the European Team. It is the third year the label has been one of the team’s official outfitters, having first dressed the team at Dublin’s K Club in 2006, then providing the off-course attire again in Valhalla two years ago.
“We are very privileged to once again be partnering with them to create all our official off course clothing, but I’m not selecting what I would want to wear. I’ve talked to all of the players in my team, and my Vice Captains too, about the styles they like to wear.
I’ve really enjoyed working with my team to develop a range of outfits that are going to look great for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Gala Dinner and the Welcome to Wales concert at the Millenium Stadium.
This is about the players and making them feel fantastic. I really believe that it’s fundamental that our team feels comfortable and are confident that they look their best at all times: it gives us that psychological advantage. We need to out-dress our opponents. At the Opening Ceremony, our official team kit will play a crucial role in making us feel one-up on the American Team: it’s as important as the Captain’s Speech in terms of setting the frame of mind for all the players.”
And, in order to empathise with his players as they tackle their US counterparts at the Celtic Manor course next week, Mr Montgomerie took the opportunity to play the Par 3 third hole on a simulator installed in the store for the event. Even attired in shirt and tie, he appeared to swing with ease, landing his shot comfortably on the green.
There really are no words to describe the euphoria that swept the fairways of Celtic Manor this afternoon, as Colin Montgomerie’s embattled men reclaimed the Samuel Ryder Cup as their own. As the sun shone brightly over the picturesque Usk Valley, this lush pocket of south Wales saw a groundswell of European pride emerging from the sodden earth. The air was filled with raw emotion as complete strangers hugged and patted each other on the back. Tears streamed down the cheeks of grown men, who cheered with booming voices, and mothers clung to bewildered children who knew only that they had never before seen anything like this – and may never do so again.
History is being made in this, the 38th Ryder Cup. For some, they’ll be delighted this event is going down in the record books: for others, they might prefer to banish the memories and move on....
For the fans, the key lesson from yesterday’s shenanigans was to think carefully about their attire so they could survive the sporting marathon. The merchandise pavilion in the tented village has virtually sold out of waterproof gear, and supplies of the official Ryder Cup umbrellas were gone before a ball was hit in anger. So, spectators came prepared in all manner of garb, to show their allegiances, while somehow keeping dry and warm.
As European Team Captain Colin Montgomerie’s predecessor, Sir Nick Faldo waved goodbye to the Ryder Cup in the Kentucky sunshine two years ago, and quipped: “See you in Wales – and bring your waterproofs.”
While the US and European Teams battle it out on the fairways at Celtic Manor, one newlywed couple in the crowd is flying the flag for both teams ....
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