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VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 11

									G24
                           | pdf edition | Tuesday October 2 2012                                                         Sport
                                                                                                                           Downloaded 11:01 GMT




England set to reveal new 12-month
central contract for Kevin Pietersen
A new deal is believed to have been agreed with Kevin Pietersen
but the announcement may be delayed by England’s latest batting
flop Page 2


Sir Alex Ferguson claims foreigners are
the worst culprits for diving
Manchester United manager was responding to Sergio Agüero’s
claims that there is a refereeing bias against foreigners Page 2



Ryder Cup 2012: It’s hell, it’s just torture,
admits captain Olazábal
Europe’s winning captain has revealed the ‘torture’ he felt during
the gripping finale to the 39th Ryder Cup Page 3




Ryder Cup 2012: How I                        Jenson Button hit by                        Olympics: Lord Coe              World Twenty20: Stuart
rescued Rory McIlroy                         five-place grid penalty                      to address Labour               Broad admits England
by woman in the nick of                     ahead of Japanese GP                        conference over London          were not good enough
time Page 4                                  Page 5                                       2012 success Page 6             Page 7

Andy Murray makes                            Laura Robson suffers                         Wigan full-back Sam             Ian Poulter hails
winning return in first                      top-50 setback after                         Tomkins is crowned              Ryder Cup triumph as
match since US Open                         China Open exit Page 5                      Super League’s Man of           highlight of his career
triumph Page 4                                                                           Steel Page 6                    Page 7




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Tuesday October 2 2012               11:01 GMT

                                                                      He is still expected to head for the Champions League
                                                                   Twenty20 tournament in South Africa early next week with
England set to reveal new 12-month                                 Delhi Daredevils, his Indian Premier League franchise. The
central contract for Kevin Pietersen                               new contract would allow England to manage his workload for
                                                                   the rest of the winter, which would raise questions about his
• Deal believed to have been finalised                             availability for Australia’s Big Bash T20 competition either side
during World Twenty20                                              of Christmas.
                                                                      England play two T20 internationals in India at the end of
• Timing of announcement tricky after
                                                                   the Test series in late December, then return for a five-match
England batting flop                                               50-over series in the New Year. But it is on the tour of New
Andy Wilson in Colombo                                             Zealand in March and April, which clashes with next year’s IPL,
                                                                   where most expect Pietersen to return to international cricket
                                                                   after an absence of more than six months.



                                                                   Sir Alex Ferguson claims foreigners are
                                                                   the worst culprits for diving

                                                                   • Manchester United manager responds to
                                                                   ‘bias’ comments
                                                                   • Sergio Agüero claimed referees favour
                                                                   home players
                                                                   Jamie Jackson in Cluj
England’s Kevin Pietersen has reportedly held face-to-face
contract talks with ECB officials. Photograph: Lakruwan
Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty
England crashed out of the World Twenty20 leaving the way
clear for them to announce that Kevin Pietersen has agreed a
new central contract, with confirmation expected here before
the end of the week.
   Pietersen’s previous deal expired on Sunday and after he was
omitted from the initial list of 10 players whose contracts were
to be renewed, his representatives turned down the offer of a
four-month contract with strings attached before the squad for
the four-Test tour of India was announced last month.
   But a new 12-month agreement is thought to have been
finalised following face-to-face meetings between Pietersen and    The Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said that
leading England and Wales Cricket Board officials in Sri Lanka     foreigners are the worst for diving. Photograph: Daniel
during the first week of the World Twenty20, leaving the ECB       Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images
with the tricky problem of how best to time its announcement.
                                                                   Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that “foreign players” are the
   Suggestions that Pietersen could hold a joint press
                                                                   worst culprits when it comes to diving. The Manchester United
conference in Colombo with Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman,
                                                                   manager’s comments came in response to Sergio Agüero’s
on Tuesday are thought to be premature – the immediate
                                                                   criticism that there is a bias against overseas footballers from
aftermath of another batting flop by the top order that exposed
                                                                   domestic referees in the Premier League when awarding fouls.
how much he has been missed during this competition would
                                                                       Ferguson, who is preparing his side for Tuesday evening’s
hardly be ideal, with the Twenty20 champions having been
                                                                   Champions League group game at Cluj, the Romanian title
beaten by 19 runs by India in Pallekele.
                                                                   holders, said: “It’s not worth going into that subject because
   Similarly, the idea that he could go straight back into the
                                                                   down the years there have been plenty of players diving, and
team for the India series seems highly unlikely, with the
                                                                   you have to say particularly foreign players.”
squad already announced, and major issues remaining over
                                                                       In Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at
his reintegration into the dressing room. There have been
                                                                   Old Trafford, one of Ferguson’s own foreign contingent Nani
suggestions that Pietersen will have to make more widespread
                                                                   appeared to be denied a penalty when Jan Vertonghen pulled
and convincing apologies than those initially offered for
                                                                   the Portuguese back in the area. The referee Chris Foy did not
his conduct during the summer, which had infuriated the
                                                                   award the kick, and while Ferguson does not think the winger
management and other senior players well before he sent texts
                                                                   is a diver, he did say after the match that the penalty may have
about Andrew Strauss to members of the South Africa team.
                                                                   been denied due to Nani overplaying the incident.
   That may be the purpose of the mooted Colombo press
                                                                       “There were quite a few [penalty claims],” he said. “I think
conference, to give Pietersen the chance to clear the air and
                                                                   the one in the first half was a clear penalty kick, but maybe Nani
state his commitment to the cause – which he has previously
                                                                   made a meal of it and he didn’t need to do that. He was clearly
done only on YouTube.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                     Tuesday October 2 2012                11:01 GMT

pulled back.”                                                              “I didn’t answer the phone, I just wanted to have time to
   Yesterday Ferguson added: “Nani is not the type to dive, I          myself,” added Olazábal. “I’m going to wait until I go back
know that. It was a penalty kick on Saturday. Sometimes you            home. I’m sure it will take a day or so to get through the
get them, sometimes you don’t. The linesman could have                 messages. I did not sleep on Sunday night, I went back to the
helped him but didn’t.”                                                room and I just couldn’t sleep.
   Agüero’s comments followed Manchester City’s 2-1 win at                 “I actually had a couple of glasses of Spanish wine for dinner
Fulham on Saturday after the Argentinian’s fellow countrymen           and then one gin and tonic. And that was it. We all had dinner
Carlos Tevez and Pablo Zabaleta were each denied penalties             together. We spent quite a bit of the night together. Everyone
when apparently floored in the home area.                              was there.
   Asked if foreign players in the Premier League experience               “Everybody behaved. Obviously there guys who had a
more difficulty than English players winning decisions from            couple of drinks but it was not wild. Everyone was really tired.
match officials, Agüero said: “Yes. Always. But it happens             It has been a long week. It was really tough and heavy. I think
everywhere [in the world]. There is a little bit of privilege with     everyone was just relieved with the outcome, they were just
players who come from that country. That is normal. We just            enjoying it.”
play our game, and the referee’s job is to know who is tricking            Olazábal’s thoughts inevitably turned towards his close
him and who is not.”                                                   friend, the late Seve Ballesteros, who was viewed as the
   Agüero said he believed that referees were more suspicious          inspiration behind the triumph. The European team wore
of overseas players. “It can happen,” he said, “and if it does, it’s   colours and logos on Sunday in tribute to Ballesteros, with a
not good for anyone. Here in England, there are almost as many         special silhouette also imprinted on the golf bags.
foreign players as English players and it’s not right that some            “Seve’s been on my mind the whole week, during the
have a privilege that others don’t.”                                   whole journey of this Ryder Cup,” said Olazábal. “We had
   While only three penalties of the 17 awarded in the Premier         his silhouette [on our sleeves] and his name on the last day
League so far this season have gone to English players this may        but obviously I had Seve in my mind every day. When we
be because a higher proportion of forwards are of overseas             managed to retain the trophy, all those memories were very
nationalities. The Premier League is thought to be relaxed             vividly coming to life. If someone had written a script for it that
about Agüero’s comments.                                               would be the ideal one and for it to happen, Seve had to have
                                                                       something to do with it.”
                                                                           Intrigue now surrounds who will succeed Olazábal to take
Ryder Cup 2012: It’s hell, it’s just torture,                          charge of Europe for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. The
admits captain Olazábal                                                Irishman Paul McGinley is regarded as the favourite with
                                                                       Thomas Bjorn of Denmark also a candidate; a third of Olazábal’s
                                                                       vice captains, Darren Clarke, may be a more likely option when
• European captain got no sleep on Sunday                              the event returns to the United States in four years’ time.
night                                                                      “I’ve always said I think Clarkey would be a great captain
• Ireland’s Paul McGinley favourite for                                here in America,” said the world No1, Rory McIlroy. “I think the
Gleneagles 2014                                                        crowds really love him, so maybe save Darren for 2016.”
                                                                           Martin Kaymer, who holed Europe’s winning putt, revealed
Ewan Murray in Chicago
                                                                       he had gleaned inspiration from Bernhard Langer. The 27-year-
José María Olazábal, Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup captain, has        old German turned to his compatriot, a former US Masters
recalled the “torture” of watching his side overturn the USA           champion, Ryder Cup player and winning captain, amid fears
side at Medinah.                                                       about his form. “Bernhard told me I must not hide away from
   Olazabal cut a consistently emotional figure as Europe              the rest of the team just because I felt I was playing poorly,”
recovered from 10-6 down at the start of the final day to defeat       Kaymer said.
the USA team by a point in a comeback widely recognised as                 “He said I had to relax, to become involved in the team-room
one of the finest in Ryder Cup history.                                atmosphere and accept that I was an equal member of the team.
   The Spaniard, however, has admitted how difficult the               He said it was important to build relationships with the other
thrilling finale was to preside over. “You go through hell,” he        guys because that would help me play great golf, knowing that
said. “It was torture. You cannot do anything about it, you don’t      we depended on each other.”
hit the shots, you don’t have any control on the outcome – the
matches. It’s hell, it’s just torture. I was looking at the matches,




                                                                         *
looking at the players hitting shots.
   “One minute you’re thinking: ‘Right that’s it, it’s over’ and
the next minute it’s: ‘Hang about, we still have a chance.’ It is
very hard.”
   Olazábal led the small European delegation which left                 From Beirut to Big Brother, Murdoch to
Chicago for London on Monday morning. The remainder of                   Millionaire,
Europe’s team have homes or bases in the United States. The              discuss the hot topics in the media on
captain also revealed he has deliberately avoided messages
                                                                         not one, but two blogs Organ Grinder and
of congratulations sent to him. The European side enjoyed a
celebratory party in their hotel from Sunday night through to
                                                                         Greenslade
the early hours of Monday morning.                                       blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                     Tuesday October 2 2012               11:01 GMT

                                                                      later and the match would have been forfeited to the United
                                                                      States.
Ryder Cup 2012: How I rescued Rory                                       “He was nervous. If I was in his shoes I’d have been as
McIlroy by woman in the nick of time                                  well,” said Rollins. “I had gone to the hotel to check in with
                                                                      our officers. I realised that one player had not come down from
• US PGA official noticed McIlroy was                                 their room yet to get transported by the drivers to the course.”
dormant one                                                              “He rode in the front passenger’s seat with me. We whisked
                                                                      him away up to the course. I had radioed ahead, just to make
• Maggie Budzar fixed lift to course in
                                                                      sure certain lanes of traffic were opened for us so we could
trooper’s car                                                         make it to the course with time to spare. He was receiving a lot
Ewan Murray in Chicago                                               of phone calls en route. We had minimal conversation but he
                                                                      was a great gentleman.”
                                                                         Rollins told Radio 5: “I took it as a job well done. I’m getting
                                                                      ribbed at work for this but in the end I am very proud of our
                                                                      force and our community. We did the right thing and of course I
                                                                      would have done the same for the American team.”



                                                                      Andy Murray makes winning return in
                                                                      first match since US Open triumph

                                                                      • Scot begins Japan Open title defence by
                                                                      beating Ivo Karlovic
                                                                      • World No3 withstood 17 aces in 7-6, 6-4
Rory McIlroy after Europe’s Ryder Cup win, but the result
could have been very different but for an alert US PGA official.
                                                                      victory
Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images                              Staff and agencies
It was the vital part played by the United States in Europe’s
Ryder Cup victory. When Rory McIlroy came within minutes of
being late for his tee time for Sunday’s singles,help was at hand
– from opposition sources.
    The officer who sped McIlroy on the 12-mile journey from his
hotel to the Medinah course has been named as Pat Rollins, the
deputy chief of the Lombard police department. Europe’s team
autographed two Medinah flags during their celebrations on
Sunday evening, which will be sent to Rollins as a “thank you”
gesture.
    Two US PGA transport officials, Maggie Budzar and Erica
Stoll, who co-ordinated player-shuttle services to the Ryder
Cup venue, also offered crucial assistance to McIlroy.
    Budzar said: “It was 10.30am, I knew [McIlroy’s caddie]           Andy Murray is the defending champion at the Japan Open.
JP Fitzgerald had left about an hour earlier. I knew Rory’s tee       Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
time was 11.25 and he was the third group to go off. And we still
                                                                      Andy Murray marked his first match since winning the US Open
hadn’t seen him.
                                                                      gu.com/p/3abb9 with a straight-sets victory over Ivo Karlovic in
    “I started getting worried that something had happened to
                                                                      the opening round of the Japan Open.
him or that he had taken a different ride to the course. There
                                                                         Karlovic entered the tournament as a lucky loser after
was only one room still in use when housekeeping checked and
                                                                      Murray’s scheduled first-round opponent Gaël Monfils
a male voice said not to come in. We figured it had to be him
                                                                      withdrew due to injury. Murray had won all four of his previous
because by now we knew he wasn’t at the course.
                                                                      meetings with the tall Croatian, most recently in four sets
    “I called the guys at the driving range to see if they had seen
                                                                      at Wimbledon last summer gu.com/p/38kbd , and despite
him. They hadn’t so I called the European Tour officials to alert
                                                                      withstanding 17 aces at the Ariake Colosseum, he made it five
them. At first I was going to drive him to the course because
                                                                      from five.
I knew the way and we didn’t want to put a volunteer under
                                                                         The defending champion failed to take any of his three break
stress in the courtesy car. I then asked a trooper at the front if
                                                                      points in the first set but eventually prevailed in a tie-break.
he could take him with the flash light on. He said that would be
                                                                      The second set was progressing in a similarly serve-dominated
OK. I gave Rory the choice and he went straight to the front seat
                                                                      manner until the 10th game, when Murray went 40–0 up to
of the trooper’s car. That was about 10.52.”
                                                                      secure three match points.
    The world No1 misunderstood his start time as an hour later,
                                                                         Karlovic saved two, the first with a second-serve ace, but
owing to the difference between Eastern and Central United
                                                                      Murray took the third to complete a 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 win having
States zones. Had the player arrived on the course within five
                                                                      not faced a single break point in the match.
minutes of 11.25, he would simply have lost the first hole. Any
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                  Tuesday October 2 2012              11:01 GMT

   The world No3 will face Lukas Lacko in the second round
after the Slovakian crushed Spain’s Albert Ramos 6-0, 6-2.
                                                                    Laura Robson suffers top-50 setback
                                                                    after China Open exit
Jenson Button hit by five-place grid
penalty ahead of Japanese GP                                        • Briton loses 7-5, 6-3 to Spain’s Lourdes
                                                                    Domínguez Lino
• McLaren driver punished for                                       • Teenager looking to break into world’s top
unscheduled gearbox change                                          50 for first time
• Penalty hampers his hopes of back-to-                             Staff and agencies
back wins at Suzuka
Reuters




                                                                    Laura Robson lost in straight sets to Spain’s Lourdes
                                                                    Domínguez Lino in the second round of the China Open.
                                                                    Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
The grid penalty affects Jenson Button’s chances of winning
at Suzuka for the second straight year. Photograph: Mark        Laura Robson’s quest to break into the world’s top 50 for the
Thompson/Getty Images                                              first time suffered a setback when the British No1 was knocked
                                                                    out of the China Open in the second round. The 18-year-old was
Jenson Button will take a five-place penalty on the Japanese
                                                                    beaten in two tight sets by Spain’s Lourdes Domínguez Lino.
Grand Prix starting grid this weekend due to an unscheduled
                                                                        Robson, who rose to a career-best No57 last week following
gearbox change.
                                                                    her run to the final of the Guangzhou Open gu.com/p/3atmq
   The Briton, who won at Suzuka last year, finished second in
                                                                    , went into the match as the higher-ranked player, but a late
last month’s Singapore Grand Prix but McLaren discovered after
                                                                    break in the first set proved crucial as her 31-year-old opponent
the race that his car’s gearbox had the same problem that forced
                                                                    triumphed 7-5, 6-3.
his team-mate Lewis Hamilton to retire while leading.
                                                                        The first set went with serve until the very last game, when
   Button is a long shot for the drivers’ title, currently sixth
                                                                    Domínguez Lino forced the match’s first break point and took
overall and 75 points adrift of Ferrari’s championship leader
                                                                    it to win the set. Another break followed in game three of the
Fernando Alonso with six races remaining.
                                                                    second set and the Spaniard backed it up with a hold to lead 3-1.
   FIA rules dictate that each driver is required to use the same
                                                                        A further break for each player left Domínguez Lino with a
gearbox for five consecutive races. If the team has to use a
                                                                    5-3 lead and she completed victory in an hour and 35 minutes.
replacement gearbox during this period then the driver drops
                                                                        Robson will have another chance to improve on her ranking
five places on the grid.
                                                                    next week when she competes at the HP Open in Osaka, Japan.
   Hamilton will also have a new gearbox but escapes any
penalty due to his failure to finish in Singapore.




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Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Tuesday October 2 2012               11:01 GMT


Olympics: Lord Coe to address Labour                                 Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins is
conference over London 2012 success                                  crowned Super League’s Man of Steel

Tory peer to take unusual step of thanking                           • Tomkins tops secret ballot of fellow Super
senior opposition politicians for helping to                         League players
bring the Games to Britain                                           • Beats St Helens’ James Roby and
Rajeev Syal                                                          Warrington’s Ben Westwood
                                                                     Press Association




Lord Coe is to address the Labour conference and praise senior
party figures. Photograph: David Davies/PA                         Sam Tomkins, left, celebrates with team-mates after scoring a
Lord Coe, the Tory peer who has been praised for heading the         Super league try for Wigan Warriors. Photograph: Paul Currie/
London Olympics committee, will on Tuesday take the unusual          Action Images
step of thanking senior Labour politicians for helping to bring      The Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins was crowned Super League
the Games to Britain.                                                Man of Steel in Manchester on Monday night.
    In a move which will be seen as an attempt to give credit            The 23-year-old England international, twice a winner of
across the parties, the former Olympic champion will thank           the young-player-of-the-year award, lifted the prize ahead of
Tony Blair, Tessa Jowell, Ken Livingstone and Richard Caborn as      the St Helens hooker James Roby and Warrington’s second-row
he addresses Labour’s autumn conference for the first time.          forward Ben Westwood.
    He will be joined by Paul Deighton, the chief executive of           Both Tomkins and Roby, who won the award in 2007, were
London 2012 who is due to take up an advisory role to George         shortlisted for the award last season but lost out to Rangi Chase,
Osborne in the Treasury in January.                                  the Castleford and England half-back.
    The two main parties have tussled over the right to                  This time Tomkins emerged top of a secret ballot of his
claim responsibility for the legacy of the hugely successful         fellow Super League players as the man deemed to have made
Games. Labour was in power when the bid was won, but the             the biggest impact on the season.
coalition drew international praise for first class facilities and       Zak Hardaker, the Leeds full-back, was named young
organisation.                                                        player of the year after a hugely impressive first full season in
    Coe will say: “I am delighted to be at the Labour party          Super League in which he will cap an ever-present record in
conference to put on record my personal thanks to Tessa Jowell,      Saturday’s Grand Final against Warrington.
Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone, Richard Caborn and countless                Mick Potter’s dedication to Bradford was recognised when
others that have made the Olympic and Paralympic Games the           he was named Super League coach of the year.
success they were. Their foresight and energy in supporting              The Australian stayed on at Odsal in a voluntary capacity
and driving forward the bid and the infrastructure budget was        after being made redundant by the club’s administrators in
unparalleled.”                                                       July and would have taken the Bulls to the play-offs for the first
    The morning session will be chaired by the former triple         time in four years had the club not been docked six points for
jump Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards and will include              breaching the Rugby Football League’s solvency regulations.
a number of Olympic and Paralympic medallists including the
winner of the first ever women’s Olympic boxing gold, Nicola
Adams.
    Tessa Jowell, the former shadow Olympics minister, will say
the government is damaging future Olympic hopes by selling
off school sports fields. “The dismantling by this education
secretary of world class organisation for PE and sport in schools
                                                                       *
                                                                       Fantasy League Classic
is beyond belief,” she will say, before claiming that the summer       Manage a squad of 16 players and a budget
has reawakened a form of progressive nationalism in the UK.            of £75 million. £75,000 worth of prizes to
                                                                       be won in weekly, monthly and overall
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Tuesday October 2 2012                 11:01 GMT


World Twenty20: Stuart Broad admits                                  Ian Poulter hails Ryder Cup triumph as
England were not good enough                                         highlight of his career

• Holders fail to reach semi-finals after                            The Englishman who loves playing in a
losing to Sri Lanka                                                  team says that victory at Medinah is better
• Captain hopes inexperienced players will                           than winning a major
learn from it                                                        Ewan Murray
Press Association




                                                                     Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter hails the ‘highlight of my career’.
Stuart Broad admitted England were not good enough after            Photograph: Tannen Maury/EPA
being eliminated from the Twenty20 World Cup. Photograph:         One would have to visit a football ground rather than a golf
Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters                                           course to discover the source of the inspiration behind Ian
England were “not quite good enough,” according to their             Poulter’s Ryder Cup love affair.
captain, Stuart Broad, after the defending champions were                There are elements of Poulter’s make-up which are hardly in
knocked out of the ICC World Twenty20 on Monday.                     keeping with golf’s occasionally stuffy history. The Englishman
    Despite a maiden Twenty20 international half-century from        adores engaging with crowds, loves their roar and quite clearly
Samit Patel, England lost by 19 runs to Sri Lanka, so failing to     revels in being part of a team. That final point was proved once
make the semi-finals.                                                again by his record of four wins from four matches at Medinah.
    “Ten minutes after the game you’re obviously really              If José María Olazábal was the mastermind of Europe’s success
disappointed,” said Broad. “You can look at the missed               and Seve Ballesteros the inspiration, Poulter was the on-course
opportunities. But I think throughout the whole tournament           icon – and not for the first time.
we’ve not quite been good enough.”                                       “I loved them,” says Poulter of team sports in his youth.
    England had to get by, of course, without the controversially    “Growing up I wanted to be a footballer but that didn’t happen.
absent Kevin Pietersen and, although others hinted at potential,     My next best sport was golf and it proved a good move, to be
several appeared willing and able but not yet ready to take on       honest. To be part of a team is very special.”
and beat the world.                                                      Poulter is not alone in feeling that. Lee Westwood, Luke
    “What you get with young guys is some days absolute              Donald and Justin Rose are fellow Englishmen who have failed
brilliance and other days a bit of averageness,” said Broad of the   to win a major championship but consistently produce in
inexperience in the squad. “I think, as a team, we’ve probably       the Ryder Cup. That contrasts with the United States; Bubba
shown that. It has been a learning experience for us.                Watson and Webb Simpson currently hold majors but were
    “Obviously we didn’t have enough players firing at the same      on the losing side in Medinah. Are Europeans simply better at
time. The talent is certainly there. You see on the domestic         stepping out of golf’s routinely individual format?
scene these are the guys who are performing week in week out.            It would be an exaggeration to claim Poulter has never cared
It’s a learning experience when you come into the international      about the prospect of his career passing without winning a
scene.                                                               major. Nonetheless he regards a formidable Ryder Cup record as
    “We’ve got guys here who haven’t played a lot of                 a decent substitute.
international cricket. But as long as we learn from it, we will          “These might be my majors and that’s fine,” Poulter adds.
develop.”                                                            “If they are, if this is it, I’m a happy man. I’ve got more pride
    Even so the competitive Broad was feeling deflated after         and passion to play in the Ryder Cup than I have to win a major.
the defeat. “It’s very disappointing to have gone out because I      I want to win a major, don’t get me wrong, I’d like to win all
believe we do have the firepower in that changing room to go         of them. I’ve been close and, who knows, Sunday at Medinah
far,” he added.                                                      might be that little changing factor to get me over that line.
    “Coming to the ground today, knowing you win three                   “But if I don’t win another golf tournament from here, this
games and you win a World Cup, you’re not that far away. It’s        will go down as the highlight of my golfing career.”
frustratingly close.”                                                    Poulter may be an Arsenal supporter but rejection by
                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur at the age of 14 was the first, key sporting
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                          guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                      Tuesday October 2 2012               11:01 GMT

knockback of his life. That point is entirely pertinent when
Poulter’s golfing style is taken into account; he specialises
in making the most of his talent and defying the odds with a
                                                                       Ryder Cup 2012: José María Olazábal
fearsome mental approach.                                              sees Europe draw on team energy
    “I was such a big football fan, I had that love of the game for
so long, I miss the buzz, I miss going in the crowd and being a        Captain fires up the atmosphere in Saturday
football fan,” the 36-year-old explains. “There is nothing like        night meeting to give his players the feeling
being amongst 50,000 people all cheering on your team. I now
                                                                       they were all-square with USA
know what it is like to be inside those ropes making those guys
go nuts. It’s truly inspiring.                                         Richard Williams in Chicago
    “I do miss my football but it’s for the best. I am able to
appreciate the passion of a Ryder Cup because it didn’t work out
for me in football.”
    Poulter’s nature rendered him an obvious target for the
American galleries. “It was difficult, you’re on their soil, they’re
going to be passionate towards their team,” Poulter says. “The
only way to silence a crowd is to hit good golf shots and that is
what happened.”
    The point Poulter won alongside Rory McIlroy in Saturday’s
fourballs was vital in the context of the 39th Ryder Cup. A day
later he recovered from two down after six holes to defeat Webb
Simpson. Hours later Poulter was the disc-jockey in the midst of
the European side’s hotel celebrations.
    One of the great aspects of golf is the lack of a formulaic
                                                                       José María Olazábal, right, hugs Martin Kaymer on the 1st tee
approach, technically or in the way players behave. Donald
                                                                       before his singles match with Steve Stricker. The European
appears more introverted than Poulter but displayed admirable
                                                                       pair would converse again on the 16th tee. Photograph: David
spirit in claiming Europe’s first Sunday point. Few can dispute
                                                                       Cannon/Getty Images
that Donald is continually impressive in the way he goes about
his work.                                                              The first thing a captain needs, as Napoleon knew, is luck and
    Rose produced critical Ryder Cup moments, holing birdie            it emerged that José María Olazábal had a bucketload of it
putts on the 17th and 18th holes against Phil Mickelson to             when Rory McIlroy, his top player, made it to Medinah with 11
trigger a result which had the Europeans believing, probably for       minutes to spare on Sunday morning.
the first time, that they could retain their trophy.                       The people responsible for getting the dozen European team
    “On a personal level I need to take that forward and               members from hotel to course had been alerted to the world
let it grow,” Rose explains. “The fact that my point meant             No1’s non-appearance by the golf fans who congregated outside
something, it ended up being the best day I’ve ever had on a           the lobby every morning, taking photographs of the players.
golf course. I was very happy with the way my match finished.          “Where’s Rory?” they wanted to know, after the rest had all
If we were to have lost 14½-13½ I would have come away                 departed in their courtesy cars.
thinking we gave it a great run.”                                          Just imagine if the player who mistook Eastern time for
    Europe did more than that.                                         Central time had been Peter Hanson. No disrespect to the
                                                                       Swede but would those fans have noticed the absence of a low-
                                                                       key character whose sole contribution to the preceding days
                                                                       had ended in defeat? Hanson might have been left undisturbed
                                                                       in his room until it was too late and Olazábal would have started
                                                                       the day with his team a point down.




  *
                                                                           Once able to start with a full complement of players,
                                                                       however, he had the satisfaction of seeing all his plans come
                                                                       to fruition. Or rather not actually seeing them, since when
                                                                       Martin Kaymer holed the seven-footer on the 18th to ensure
  Mystified by mortgages?                                              that Europe would retain the trophy, the captain was holding
  Perplexes by pensions? Confused                                      his head in his hands and had his eyes firmly closed. He simply
                                                                       could not bear to look. His work with Kaymer, however, had
  about your consumer rights?                                          been done on the 16th tee. “He came up to me,” the 27-year-old
  Our experts are on hand to answer                                    recalled, “and said: ‘We need your point. I don’t really care how.
  all kinds of financial and legal                                     Just deliver it.’ I liked that. Very straightforward. That’s the way
                                                                       we Germans are.”
  questions, so you don’t need to be                                       In general Olazábal left his players to get on with their
  baffled any more. Read their advice,                                 individual games. That message to Kaymer did not include
  or put a question to them, at                                        instructions on how to play the final holes. It was a simple and
  guardian.co.uk/money                                                 firm request delivered at the right time, leaving the details up to
                                                                       the individual, and it showed how much Olazábal depended on
                                                                       awakening his team’s sense of responsibility while using both
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                          guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Tuesday October 2 2012             11:01 GMT

broad and fine brushes to paint in the emotional scenery.           mattered. He had been on the 12th tee on Sunday, fretting
    The turning point had come on Saturday evening, when            over the maths and trying to work out whether a victory was
Ian Poulter fired in those five consecutive birdies at the close    possible, when Lee Westwood arrived, on the way to a win over
of a win shared with McIlroy. They returned to the team room        Matt Kuchar. “Lee came up and asked me how I was doing,” he
bristling with a defiant optimism that mocked the 10-6 deficit      recalled. “I had to walk away.”
they would take into the singles competition.                          When it was all over, however, he could let it out. Something
    “In the meeting afterwards I told them I really believed we     he said to Poulter, the player remarked, would “stay with me for
could do it,” Olazábal said. “After that they just believed in      ever – I can’t tell you what. But it was magic. And it meant more
themselves. That’s why we are here as winners. The boys have        than anything.” And for the team as a whole, he found the most
done an unbelievable job. It was 12 men giving their hearts,        memorable words of the weekend.
trying to win this trophy. You don’t see this anywhere else in         “All men die but not all men live,” he told his players at the
any other trophy. Those guys were ready to sacrifice themselves     closing ceremony. “You made me feel alive again this week.” No
for the benefit of the team. Maybe they knew how much it            one thought he was exaggerating.
meant to me.”
    Poulter said that the atmosphere in the Saturday night
meeting was such that it felt as though Europe and the USA          Europe’s finest continue their rolling
were all square. “The team room was energised,” he said. “Olly      maul over Heineken Cup’s future
said to us: ‘Just give it everything.’ “
    McIlroy paid his own tribute to the captain. “José María has
been inspirational,” he said. “I’m delighted we could do it for
                                                                    England’s clubs are still unhappy after
him, and for that great man Seve who’s looking down on us           continued failure to conquer European
from up there.”                                                     summit
    Sports teams can be mysterious organisms and Ryder Cup
                                                                    Robert Kitson
squads, formed for a week every two years from individuals
normally required to function under conditions of the utmost
selfishness, are more mysterious than most. Sometimes they
require more than just the sum of their talents, some extra
impetus, and Olazábal ensured that Ballesteros gave it to them
in death, as he had done in life with a phone call to the team
room at Celtic Manor two years ago.
    On Monday the captain said that he had gone through the
entire week thinking about his late friend and former Ryder
Cup partner, whose image was on the sleeves of the white shirts
the players wore for the singles shoot-out. “He’s been on my
mind every day,” he said. “When we managed to retain the
trophy, all those memories were very vividly coming to life. It’s
been a very emotional week, especially when things were not
going our way, but on Sunday everything turned round for us.        Will this be the closest Harlequins get to a European trophy
If someone had written a script for it, that would have been the    this season? Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images
ideal one and, for it to happen, Seve had to have something to      European harmony may have been thrillingly evident at the
do with it.”                                                        Ryder Cup but it was in much shorter supply at the UK launch
    Olazábal was lucky, too, in the identity of his opposite        of this season’s Heineken Cup in west London. Even the venue,
number. Not because Davis Love made mistakes – over the             Sky’s headquarters in Isleworth, felt like a pointed rebuke to the
three days, the balance of minor strategic errors between           English clubs following their controversial broadcasting deal
the two captains was probably about even – but because              with BT Vision and the rival factions continue to differ sharply
the American shared his desire that the contest should take         over the future of the tournament.
place in an atmosphere of civilised competition. Love was               There was one particularly telling snapshot when Glasgow’s
perfectly entitled to invite the US fans to make a noise at the     head coach, Gregor Townsend, and Northampton’s director
right time and to show their support by wearing red on the          of rugby, Jim Mallinder, were both asked how they viewed
final day. There was no hint of encouraging them to indulge         the possibility of a 20-team tournament with no guaranteed
in the sort of excesses that might have transgressed the line       entry for clubs from all six leading nations, with qualification
of sportsmanship and once his players were out on the course        hinging entirely on a merit-based top-six finish in the Aviva
they conducted themselves with decency and respect for their        Premiership, the RaboDirect Pro12 or the French Top 14
opponents.                                                          respectively.
    It had been Olazábal, of course, who stood helplessly on            Townsend, once of Northampton himself, responded with
the 17th green at Brookline in 1999, waiting to putt while Ben      an eloquent defence of the current 24-team system, having also
Crenshaw’s Americans, in an unspeakable act of sporting             had experience of Super Rugby in the southern hemisphere.
hooliganism, went berserk after Justin Leonard had holed a 45-      “I’ve played in both and the Heineken Cup is the best in
footer that all but snatched a famous comeback victory. There       the world. Part of its appeal is the involvement of so many
was a sense of a long-delayed payback for that injustice.           countries.” Mallinder, sitting to his right, politely demurred.
    At times it was hard for him not to show how much it all        “What we want is the best teams in Europe playing together,”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                   Tuesday October 2 2012               11:01 GMT

he retorted. From where he sits the ability of the Irish                Euro XV: Clément Poitrenaud (France); Tim Visser (Holland/
provinces, in particular, to rest key players at certain points of   Scotland) or Vasily Artemyev (Russia), Aurélien Rougerie
the season tilts the playing field significantly.                    (France), Wesley Fofana (France), Vincent Clerc (France);
    And so it went on. Townsend followed up with another             François Trinh-Duc (France), Dimitri Yachvili (France); Davit
deft backhand. “Players get rested more in the Celtic countries      Zirakashvili (Georgia), Marius Tincu (Romania), Martin
because we’ve got more national squad players. As Jim knows          Castrogiovanni (Italy), Pascal Pape (France), Yoann Maestri
you can’t play your international players throughout the whole       (Toulouse), Thierry Dusautoir (France, capt), Mamuka
season.” A few moments later it was the turn of Leicester’s          Gorgodze (Georgia), Sergio Parisse (Italy).
Richard Cockerill to smash that argument back over the net.          Hold on tight this weekend for . . .
    “It’s very hard to be ultra-competitive at Premiership and          Leinster v Munster. The Heineken Cup is looming so this is
European level under the current constraints. You go in trying       the moment for the leading Irish sides to crank up the volume.
to be as good as you can be but that’s reliant on how fit your       Leinster lost heavily to Connacht last weekend and will be
best players are. How many top-end players do we risk at Sale        looking to resume normal service. Munster, who went down to
this Friday if we want them fresh for Toulouse the following         the Ospreys, have a bit to prove as well, particularly with Ulster
weekend?”                                                            going well.
    The debate will rumble on beyond next week’s ERC meeting
of the various interested parties in Rome. Derek McGrath,
ERC’s chief executive, remains adamant that Premiership              Faller at Chester’s hurdles trial leaves
Rugby Limited, which represents the English clubs, has lost
sight of the Heineken Cup’s magic ingredient. “The growth
                                                                     trainer and officials pensive
of the tournament has not been accidental. It’s now owned
by a lot more stakeholders than are sitting around our table.        • Unnamed horse took time to recover
Balanced co-existence is one of the cornerstones of why the          from last-flight tumble
tournament’s been successful. That’s why we reject any deal          • Hurdle race may yet take place at track
that’s not done from the central point of view.”
                                                                     next year
    McGrath also questions PRL’s freedom to do its own
broadcasting deal, even though the English clubs have served         Will Hayler at Chester
notice of their intention to quit the existing agreement
from 2014. While he awaits the small print of the BT deal,
furthermore, he is convinced the French federation and the
Top 14 clubs will stay in the fold. “In France they will not get
approval to do such a deal,” he said, describing an English
withdrawal as “almost unthinkable”. “There’s too much at
stake to expect we’re not going to have difficulties in getting 10
different parties to agree. But ultimately people have to make
their own decisions. Do we want to be involved or not?”
    On that score there is general agreement. When this year’s
tournament kicks off next week, England’s champions,
Harlequins, will be striving as hard as anyone to conquer
Europe’s summit. Their Irish director of rugby, Conor O’Shea,
is convinced a political ceasefire will materialise: “My heart
                                                                     Jason Maguire falls from one of the horses that schooled over
doesn’t sink because I feel it’s going to be sorted. Everyone
                                                                     hurdles at Chester on Monday morning. Photograph: Howard
wants to play in the European Cup: players, coaches, supporters
                                                                     Barlow
and the media all want to see the best teams playing in the best
competition. We know that peace will break out.”                     The additional risks that might come with the introduction of
                                                                     jumps racing to one of Britain’s most celebrated racecourses
Euro Smash                                                          could not have been better illustrated as only nine of the 10
    Talking of Europe, the sight of Germany’s Martin Kaymer
                                                                     pioneering horses to break a centuries-old monopoly of Flat
being engulfed by his team-mates caused one or two British
                                                                     racing completed the course in a two-mile schooling session
and Irish Lions supporters to wonder if rugby’s traditional
                                                                     at Chester on Monday. The track that can lay great claim to
arrangement might one day be worth extending. The Ryder
                                                                     being one of Britain’s oldest sporting venues is considering the
Cup, of course, used to be an exclusively UK and Ireland
                                                                     addition of a hurdle race to its Flat-only programme from next
production before Seve Ballesteros and Co transformed the
                                                                     year and it was for the first time that its tight one-mile circuit
landscape. Financial and historical factors make it highly
                                                                     was punctuated by four hurdles, borrowed from its sister track
unlikely the four home unions would ever throw open their
                                                                     at Bangor-On-Dee.
doors but how about an ‘all-star’ game once every four years
                                                                        It was at the last of these hurdles, situated next to the
against the best of the rest of Europe?
                                                                     furlong-pole, that a horse ridden by Jason Maguire dived
    The latter squad would have a strong French flavour,
                                                                     through the obstacle and slid to the ground. But after a couple
naturally, but here’s a possible pan-European XV (including
                                                                     of minutes of genuine concern, the horse gingerly rose to his
a Dutchman on loan from Scotland) to ponder. Check out the
                                                                     feet to be led back to join his stablemates by his trainer, Donald
pack, in particular. And remember where you heard the idea
                                                                     McCain. McCain refused to name the horse but said it had never
first . . . !
                                                                     raced under Rules.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page 11 G24 Sport                                                    Tuesday October 2 2012   11:01 GMT

    The accident did, at least, show that horses would be able to
avoid stricken rivals, with three of the horses following diverted
up the inside, all four obstacles having been located on the wide
outside of the track.
    McCain admitted to having a vested interest in the possible
introduction of hurdle races to the programme at the track,
given the geographical proximity to his stable, and rallied
against criticism of the idea from Flat jockeys, including
Richard Hughes, who described it as “barmy”.
    “There’s been an awful lot of rubbish talked in the last few
days from certain people on the Flat,” he said. “This is a great
track and it’s a fantastic initiative.
    “If Richard Hughes thinks it will be only low-grade jumpers
coming here, he’s in for the shock of his life. He should know
better than that. I’d be more than happy to bring my best horses
here.”
    Although a British Horseracing Authority inspector was
in attendance, the session had been intended as a learning
exercise for Chester. Yet it was perhaps McCain who was left
with more to mull over.
    “It’s given me a better idea as to where the horses are, as a
few of them got pretty tired,” he said. “They’ve done a good bit,
but they’re not 100%.
    “I brought a mixture of horses, three or four which have run,
four or five that haven’t run over hurdles, and the ground if
anything has caught the boys out. They’ve gone a good gallop
and perhaps didn’t expect it to ride as soft as it has. The horse
that fell got tired, overjumped and laid down. Nobody is feeling
as embarrassed by it as Jason. But no harm done.”
    While not ruling out the possibility of hosting a hurdle
race as soon as next year, Chester’s managing director,
Richard Thomas, insisted that the idea was still firmly in the
developmental stage. “It’s shown that the hurdles can be fitted
in and that it can work, but now it’s a case of sitting back and
seeing what we decide to do,” he said.
    “We asked Donald to make it a proper schooling trial and
that’s what we got. You could have had two or three horses
hacking round on any course. We’re not looking to have a set of
summer jumping races, nor are we looking to race beyond our
existing season from May to September. There is no way that
we would ever put in jeopardy anything to do with a Flat race.
Flat racing is our number one priority and always will be. But
the ground that we were racing on today on the outside of the
track is untouched for 90% of the year and only used mainly
when horses canter on the morning of the races, or when they
go down to the start.
    “If we are going to have a hurdle race, we’ll make sure it’s
one worth winning. If we do it, we’ll do it properly.”




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                           guardian.co.uk

								
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