Rookie excitement must be tempered - Parnevik


Jesper Parnevik says the biggest challenge facing Europe's Ryder Cup rookies will be keeping their emotions in check.

Darren Clarke's 12-man team consists of six first-timers, a fact that has led many to conclude the United States are favourites to prevail at Hazeltine.

But Parnevik, who appeared at the competition in 1997, 1999 and 2002, believes with the right guidance Europe's relative inexperience could prove beneficial.

"It is so important with rookies to get the combinations right," the Swede told Omnisport. "I was always more comfortable with two rookies playing together rather than, say, putting a rookie with the number one player on the team. But it depends on who they are.

"You don't need to motivate any rookies to be energetic or keen on playing, it's more the other way round - to make them realise what they are up against and how to deal with the nerves and energy.

"When you're there for the first time it's a completely different ball game, it's very hard to explain to a rookie who has never been there.

"It's going to be the wildest thing they will ever do in golf, so that's more the part of the captain to prepare them for that and make them realise what the situation is going to be like.

"As I always say, it's the loudest and wildest golf event you can ever go to."

The event always captures the imagination of the watching public and Parnevik, a two-time runner-up at the Open, compared the atmosphere to the football World Cup.

He added: "The crowds make the whole event. I always said if people complain about the crowds, well that is not the Ryder Cup. Without the crowds it would not be the Ryder Cup. That's what makes the chaos, makes everybody frantic and you have to do whatever you can to get them on your side.

"I remember in Boston [1999] we succeeded very much to almost get the US crowds on our side the first few days. The experienced players know what to expect it will be their jobs to prepare the rookies for the chaos, it's going to be something they have never experienced before. It's not like a major, it's the equivalent to the World Cup of football."

Europe have won the last three Ryder Cups and six of the previous seven.