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The heat of battle

Paul Wesselingh at the MCB Tour Championship

The MCB Tour Championship brings with it a number of big names with some very serious credentials. Just because they are now seniors, and no longer necessarily in their prime, does not detract from having had a stellar career.

The players face a tough test at the MCB Tour Championship

The players face a tough test at the MCB Tour Championship

Head to head

Naturally, as this is a European Senior Tour event, only 6 of the players are from the U.S.A, with the majority of the field of European descent. The Ryder Cup, one of the world’s greatest sporting spectacles, has become a very topical issue with Europe’s increased number of successes on both sides of the Atlantic. From 1927 to 2014, U.S.A won 25 of the 40 matches indicating a supremacy of sorts, yet in more recent times Europe have, for various reasons, become a more then worthy adversary winning eight of the last 10 results.

Torrance leads the way

Sam Torrance, one of Europe greatest contributors in Ryder Cup history, having played eight times as well as captaining the team to a win in 2002 gave us some insight to the Ryder Cup. Having played in the event eight times, holing the winning putt in 1985, and steering the team to victory as a Captain what stands out as a highlight? “Captain, without a doubt,’ he responds empathically. Regarding Europe’s dominance in recent times and the reason behind it Torrance simply says, “We are a better team and have more depth, things have changed and we have more tournaments now and we have dominated the last 20 years or so.” “No, not at all, we are a better team,” he confirms regarding team dynamics or team spirit influencing the team’s performance (referring to this year’s team issues within Team USA).

Crowd momentum

Historically, the crowd’s involvement plays a major role in the overall result with a number of incidents over the years coming to mind – how does Torrance find the crowds in general? “Incredible, and it makes a difference to the team. Obviously it helps on both sides,” he says, referring to the fact that the event alternates between taking place in the U.S.A and Europe. “Ours are little more knowledgeable and generally less noisy, they are good supporters,” he says. And possibly more fair? “I can’t say that, the Americans are fair, but the Europeans are extremely fair,” he concludes. They always speak about the pressure of playing in a Ryder Cup versus a Major, but where did Torrance feel more pressure? “Oh playing in the Ryder Cup,” he laughs, “No question about it. I never came near to winning a Major but definitely the Ryder Cup.”

Inspired by team Europe’s win this year, who knows Torrance may just take home the MCB Tour Championship Trophy!

Mark Sansom

 

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