Ryder Cup players must leave egos behind : Rotella

Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:45pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - The 24 players in this week's Ryder Cup must leave their egos at the front gate and focus on the needs of their respective teams, according to one of golf's top psychologists Dr Bob Rotella.

The 65-year-old American, who boasts world number one and European team leader Rory McIlroy as a client, believes the stigma attached to being part of a losing team is hard to bear.

"The players are competing for something bigger than themselves this week," Rotella told Reuters in a telephone interview from his home in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"It's about their countries and their continents and that brings a lot of pride.

"They love all the goodies they get during the week, the bags, the clothes and such like, but it's a lot more fun if you are on the winning team.

"If they have been on the losing team a lot want to hide the bags and the clothes because people come and ask about it and that changes the whole conversation," said Rotella.

"It doesn't matter how many points you win as an individual but it really matters if your team wins. You've got to put your ego to one side and make sure you remember that."

Rotella, who has worked with nine of the 24 golfers who will do battle in the match between holders Europe and the United States at Gleneagles this week, said the pressure-packed atmosphere of the Ryder Cup always represented a voyage of discovery for the players.   Continued...

Mike Weir (L) of Canada putts on the practice green as his caddie Brennan Little (C) and sports psychologist Bob Rotella look on during a practice day for the 2009 PGA Championship golf tournament at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, August 12, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Miller