In the final part of our series detailing the inspiration Challenge Tour players are drawing from last week's incredible Ryder Cup victory for Europe, Alvaro Velasco tells us how he hopes the emotional finale at Medinah will drive him on as the Spaniard looks to battle back from an injury setback.
Alvaro Velasco is hoping to draw inspiration from the comeback orchestrated by his fellow countryman José María Olazábal last weekend as the Spaniard looks to bounce back from a month-long lay-off due to a wrist injury at this week’s ALLIANZ Open de Lyon.
While the whole world watched in awe at the achievement of the European Team in staging an unlikely comeback to win The 2012 Ryder Cup, Velasco was especially proud of the performance all week from compatriot and Europe’s talismanic Captain Olazábal.It was a victory adorned by the spirit of the late Seve Ballesteros and Velasco admitted that the occasion was even more emotional as a Spaniard.
That fighting spirit is something Velasco hopes will drive him on at Golf de Gouverneur as he looks to produce some big results in the final four weeks of the Challenge Tour season, having been forced to withdraw just two days before the lucrative Kazakhstan Open, which he won in 2010.It was a big blow to the former Challenge Tour Number One’s season and he currently lies in 52nd place in the Challenge Tour Rankings, 32 places off the final spot for a place on next year’s European Tour.
“I really need to play well from now on and for the last few weeks,” said the 31 year old. “My goal at the moment is just to get to the Grand Final.“Luckily my wrist is much better so I don’t have to worry about that but my game is rusty so I need to work on that a little bit. But if I get used to the course a little I think I can get my game back for this week.
“To watch the Ryder Cup last weekend was unbelievable and it really inspired me. On the practice day this week me and the Spanish guys were having a little match and thinking about the Ryder Cup.“I really enjoyed it. It was so impressive, the whole Ryder Cup but especially on Sunday. Olazábal is one of my heroes, as well as Seve so it was a good mixture and it was very emotional. I was so happy for José María, especially the way he handled the situation and every time he talked, it was so intense emotionally.
“We all remember all of the great things Seve did for golf too and for the Ryder Cup so it was very emotional for everybody.“Seve inspired everybody in Spain and he put the Spanish golf on the map and from that point on, everybody started to take up golf. He showed us a different way to play golf, which I think is the most important thing.”