Ryder CupSeptember 27, 2016

José María Olazábal used Braveheart to inspire the Europeans at the 2012 Ryder Cup

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 30:  European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal holds the Ryder Cup at the closing ceremonies after Europe defeated the USA 14.5 to 13.5 to retain the Ryder Cup during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Getty ImagesMEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal holds the Ryder Cup at the closing ceremonies after Europe defeated the USA 14.5 to 13.5 to retain the Ryder Cup during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

In a piece for the Players Tribune, Rory McIlroy lets readers in on his experiences and lessons from the Ryder Cup. It's an insightful post that's worth your time, but there was one tidbit that caught our attention: José María Olazábal's pep talk at the 2012 Ryder Cup.

For a quick refresher, the Americans were up 10-to-6 heading into the final day at Medinah. The European deficit could have been worse, as the club won the final two matches Saturday afternoon. The late push swung momentum; despite the uphill battle, McIlroy remembers the team could feel the energy in the team room. And it's at this point that Olazábal's speech comes into play:

When the chatter and the laughter finally started to die down, José María began:

“As you all know, the tournament is far from over. We still have a monumental task ahead of us tomorrow.”

It was true. Only one other team in Ryder Cup history had overcome a four-point deficit on the last day to win. The gravity of the moment was not lost on our captain as he spoke.

“Remember one thing: All men die, but not all men truly live,” he said. “And I want every one of you to go out there tomorrow and live as if it’s your last day.”

We sat there in awe. Nervous energy was replaced with adrenaline. We were fired up. Something big was happening.

Perhaps that gave you goosebumps, but to me, it delivered a different response: "Wait, did Ollie just rip off Braveheart?"

Extensive research (i.e. YouTube) proves this to be the case:

In short, if you're looking to point fingers on the American side for the meltdown at Medinah, start with Mel Gibson.


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