Davis Love III, a North Carolina graduate and long-time friend of Michael Jordan, has elicited the iconic basketball figure to serve as an advisor/motivator to the United State’s Ryder Cup team.
The 49-year-old Jordan, an avid golfer for decades, will be at close quarters with Love and his team when they take on the Europeans starting September 28 at Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago.
Jordon previously served as an assistant captain for Fred Couples – himself part of Love’s backroom team – at the Presidents Cup a few years ago.
He spoke to the team as a group about the mental toughness required to be competitive in the face of mounting pressure. And he rode the course in a golf cart, joining certain groups and offering encouragement along the way.
“I’ve talked to him,” Love, the American’s Ryder Cup captain, said. “Michael’s going to be hanging around with Fred probably a lot and be an influence. I told Michael this a couple weeks ago.
“One of the neatest things I ever saw in the Ryder Cup was Michael riding in the golf cart with Tom Kite. He came out to watch Freddie and I play and I thought that was one of the coolest things.”
Love said Jordan is admired so much that his mere presence can be uplifting top players.
“So I want my team, like Fred and I did, to get to see Michael,” Love added. “Rather than him sneaking around in the gallery, I want him to be seen and I want him to be in our team room, be hanging around and be a great influence.”
The Ryder Cup is a three-day golf competition between a selected USA and European all-star squads of sorts. The emotion of the event in tangible, as country pride is in the forefront over financial gain or world rankings.