Ballesteros pep talk fires up Montgomerie’s rookies

EUROPE captain Colin Montgomerie last night revealed the secret weapon in his bid to wrest the Ryder Cup back from the United States: Seve Ballesteros.

The Spanish great, who is still not well enough to travel to Wales after his recovery from a brain tumour, was invited by Montgomerie to rally his troops in a conference call.

“The whole team spoke to Seve for about 10 minutes and that was very motivational, very passionate, and also very sad to hear him; to hear the way he is,” said Montgomerie.

“That was a real inspiration, especially for the rookies in the team, to speak to Seve and have Seve speak to them. We then had a team meeting and it was very different because of the passion that engulfed that room.”

Ballesteros, 53, played in eight Ryder Cups, winning three times and retaining the trophy in 1989 with a tie, before leading the team to victory in 1997 as captain.

The five-time Major winner also forged a formidable playing partnership with his countryman Jose Maria Olazabal, taking 12 points from 15 matches.