European Ryder Cup diary: Rory's wayward putting and another unwanted hat-trick

Our latest look behind the scenes of Team Europe comes on the eve of the 42nd Ryder Cup.

Thomas Bjorn (left) and Rory McIlroy   -  Getty Images

The serious business is upon us, with the Ryder Cup countdown reaching its climax.

On Thursday the pairings were announced for the following day's fourballs, but even amid the growing tension there was still room for a few laughs at Le Golf National.

Rory McIlroy might not have been too keen on being the subject of that mirth, but he will have been perked up by the reaction he got from the crowd at the opening ceremony.

For all that and more, read on for our fourth installment of the daily diary.

 

ROR-THREE MCILROY

It has been an issue for McIlroy in the past, so fans of Team Europe will hope his show of wayward putting on the 16th green was not a sign of things to come.

The four-time major winner landed a superb tee shot to within 10 feet of the pin, but found the going a little tougher from thereon in.

McIlroy's first attempt missed, with the second going the same way, and he had no better luck with his third putt.

A grinning Thomas Bjorn seemed to find his star man's woes amusing and the two shared a laugh once McIlroy finally sunk it at the fourth time of asking.

EUROPE DUE A WIN...

Speaking of omens, Europe will certainly be eager to avoid following a worrying trend that has emerged this week.

The course hosted three different variations of the Ryder Cup - junior, celebrity, and past captains.

The result was a clean sweep for the USA.

Europe, then, is probably due a win!

 

THORBJORN ON HIS OWN

Europe's players posed for a fetching photo outside the Palace of Versailles ahead of the team's Ryder Cup gala, but one person stood out from the crowd.

It seemed everyone was joined by their significant other, but Thorbjorn Olesen was the lonely exception, plonked conspicuously in the middle.

However, the Dane did not seem too downhearted in another shot, which showed him surrounded by the wives and girlfriends of his team-mates, who were nowhere to be seen.

"Obviously here on my own this week," said the 28-year-old. "The guys said it's a tradition. Obviously I had to jump in there and take that beautiful picture.

"So I was a pretty happy man for a few minutes."

 

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS

As part of the opening ceremony, each player from Team Europe was announced by captain Bjorn and stood to receive the applause of a huge crowd.

But it's fair to say the noise levels were louder for some than others.

It may be guesswork more than science, but Ian Poulter and McIlroy's introductions appeared to generate the loudest and longest lasting cheers, with an honourable mention to Sergio Garcia.

There's nothing to be gained from determining who got the most muted response, and nobody would want to hurt Tyrrell Hatton's feelings!