Thursday, 18 September 2014

Q&A for Ryder Cup Swing Zone

(Taken from website)

Brookline was a wake-up call to Nicola Melville at the competitive rivalry between Europe and the United States.
The St Andrews based PGA pro will be able to savour the experience first hand at Gleneagles in 2014 where she is one of 11 coaches helping to give hundreds of free lessons during Ryder Cup week. caught up with Nicola to talk Ryder Cup in its latest swing zone Q&A.
What does it mean to you to be coaching at the Swing Zone at the Ryder Cup?
It's very exciting! The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and I'm very much looking forward to being a part of it and experiencing the atmosphere.
You only have 15 minutes for the free lessons but what do you hope to achieve in that time and what do you hope the spectators will get out of it?
With only 15 minutes it's important to get to the point fast. To do that you need to ask the correct questions to establish each player’s goals and wishes which is one of the things taught on the PGA level 3 coaching qualification.
What spurred you to become a PGA professional and why did you choose it as a career?
Since I took up golf I’ve always wanted to turn it into a full time career. Being a PGA pro opens doors into many areas of the golf industry, for example coaching or business.
What’s the best thing about coaching golf?
It is very rewarding teaching someone who hasn't played golf before and seeing them get the same enjoyment that I got from it when I first took up the game.
Growing up, what was your first Ryder Cup memory?
The 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline. I had only taken up golf a year or so earlier and I didn't realise just how much rivalry there was between the Europeans and Americans! (Sergio Garcia, below left, and Jesper Parnevik celebrate a putt at Brookline)
What was the first Ryder Cup you attended (if any) and any special memories?
This is actually my first Ryder Cup, so I really looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere. It's not every day such a big event comes to the area.
Why do you think the Ryder Cup is so special and what do you like about it?
It's difficult to describe. The passion and rivalry between the two teams isn't something you normally see at a golf tournament. It's almost like a football match but a bit friendlier!
Who has been your favourite Ryder Cup player over the years and why?
I enjoyed watching Colin Montgomerie (below with Payne Stewart) play in the Ryder Cup. He has never been the most popular player with the Americans but he was able to use that to his favour!
Who has been the most influential Ryder Cup player of all time?
Seve Ballesteros. He had so much passion for the Ryder Cup and was able to inspire his team-mates. Even after his death you could still see it at the last Ryder Cup at Medinah when the whole European team were trying to win it for Seve and his close friend Jose Maria.
What do you make of Paul McGinley’s three captain’s picks (Stephen Gallacher, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood) and is there anyone else you would like to have seen selected?
I wouldn't have picked anyone different, in fact they were my exact predictions! Even though Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood haven't been in the best form recently they are experienced Ryder Cup players and are capable of raising their games for the big occasion. Stephen Gallagher came so close to securing an automatic place and they really need a Scot in the team!
If it comes down to a crunch putt to win the Ryder Cup for Europe on the Sunday, which of Europe’s 12 players would you trust the most to sink the putt and why?
Ian Poulter, he thrives on the pressure of the Ryder Cup plus he is one of the best putters on the team
Finally, score prediction please?  
Europe 15.5- USA 12.5

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