Updated: Sunday, 5th April 2020 @ 10:41am

Fortress Gleneagles: Golfing genius McIlroy says Sir Alex Ryder Cup motivational speech had him transfixed

Fortress Gleneagles: Golfing genius McIlroy says Sir Alex Ryder Cup motivational speech had him transfixed

| By Patric Ridge

Rory McIlroy has praised legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson following the Scot’s inspiring speech to Team Europe ahead of the Ryder Cup.

MM reported yesterday that the 72-year-old, who led United to 38 trophies over his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford, had been asked by European captain Paul McGinley to help gee up his troops.




And McIlroy, a Red Devils fan and current world number one, explained how Sir Alex demanded that Team Europe ‘make Gleneagles a fortress’ for the biennial battle against the USA from Friday-Sunday.

“They were obviously favourites, and whenever he was managing they made Old Trafford a bit of a fortress," said the 25-year-old.

“When teams went there, it was very hard to compete against United and he was just talking a bit about that.

“We're slight favourites for a reason... we deserve to be.

“We've played well this year so it's not something that we should shy away from. It's something that we should embrace.”

The Northern Irishman, who has been in incredible form over the last 12 months by winning back-to-back majors this season, described Ferguson’s speech as “the highlight of the week so far,” adding: “I was just sitting there and looking up at him, and I didn't take my eyes off him.

“I was sort of in this trance just listening to everything that he was saying and I'm sort of thinking this is all the stuff that he's probably said to Manchester United teams over the years.

“He told us a couple stories just of past experiences in some big games and big matches, and some of the players that he managed, and it was a great evening.

“It was a really cool thing to be a part of.

“We got to ask some questions, just about different things and what he thought was the key element to being successful, and successful as a team.




“It was a great experience for everyone, obviously, but especially for me being a big Manchester United fan.”

The 40th edition of golf’s most coveted team prize will be fought over in Ferguson’s native Scotland, with Team Europe looking to repeat their heroics of two years ago and retain their crown.

And if McIlroy’s reaction is anything to go by, then Sir Alex may well have inspired yet another success… just this time away from the football pitch.

Main image courtesy of PGA Tour via YouTube, with thanks.