27/09/2010 18:44
The Colin and Corey Show
It was a misty Autumn Monday as the US Ryder Cup Team touched down in Cardiff to embark on one of the most exciting weeks of their sporting lives. The tournament proper does not begin until Friday, yet we can already see the character of the 38th Ryder Cup beginning to take shape, as the personalities of the teams unfold via their wardrobe choices. Image, after all, is everything.
For the US team, it was sunglasses at dawn, as they disembarked their transatlantic 'red-eye' charter flight clad in team kit of fawn flannel sports jackets, finely-checked sky blue open-neck shirts and navy trousers. And, as European Captain Colin Montgomerie OBE welcomed US Captain Corey Pavin and his entourage on the tarmac, he gave us a first glimpse of Team Europe’s official wardrobe, as provided by Canali. Dressed impeccably in a bespoke windowpane check navy sports jacket, sky blue shirt and pin-dot navy tie, Mr Montgomerie proved the perfect ambassador for European style as he greeted his American counterpart.
However, there’s already a marked difference in tactics from the two teams. While both Captains are furtive about their playing plans, Lisa Pavin, wife of US Captain Corey, organised a press conference a few days ago to unveil the American Team’s retro-style kit, but Captain Colin has elected to keep his sartorial – as well as his sporting – decisions, well under wraps.
His enigmatic approach has intrigued the opposition, with the ‘Man in the Black Hat’ style columnist on the US PGA Tour website, commenting: “With all the hoopla surrounding the unveiling of the U.S. Ryder Cup uniforms, the uniform plans for the European side has been somewhat more difficult to come by…. While it's somewhat frustrating not to know what the Euros have in store for us on the fashion front, the bright side says that this could be a case of keeping the best of things as a surprise. Time will tell!”
Watch this space…
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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