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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: -1°C
PA Wire/Press Association Images O'Connell teeing off at Hazeltine this week.
# Fear of God
'You could have heard a pin drop' - Paul O'Connell inspires Europe's Ryder Cup side
Team Europe will have plenty of go-forward ball at Hazeltine this weekend.

DARREN CLARKE SAYS Europe’s top golfers were ‘unbelievably impressed’ with Paul O’Connell’s pre-tournament words of encouragement this week.

The Ryder Cup skipper asked the former Ireland and Munster captain to address the travelling side as they prepare to face off against Team USA at Hazeltine.

“Any man that leads the British Lions who are playing overseas all the time, they play away from home; as the people from Europe that know rugby, they are the traveling side. So to get his input and his vision on what it took to make a successful traveling side was very impressive,” Clarke explained.

“The caddies, the players, everybody in that room; you could have heard a pin drop whenever Paul was addressing them. And it was quite interesting, because Paul is a very — a very large man, 6’7″, 6’7″ and a half. And he’s big in stature. But whenever Paul addressed the team, he sat down. He didn’t stand up. He didn’t feel the need to stand up and intimidate anybody. He brought himself down on the same level as everybody else.

“The team and the caddies were unbelievably impressed with the words that he gave us last night, so I was very, very thankful for him to come along and do that. The guys were thoroughly inspired.”

41st Ryder Cup - Practice Day Two - Hazeltine National Golf Club PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Magician Dynamo was invited to entertain the players after the meeting with O’Connell meanwhile.

“After that, going into the team room and having Dynamo there, Paul was in there, as well, with Dynamo and to see the guys switch off a little bit and chill and enjoy themselves was also very beneficial. All in all, it was a very productive evening,” said Clarke.

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