A SLICE of Ryder Cup glory will accompany Simon Dyson’s iron resolve to finish the current season with a flourish.
York-born Dyson went into the opening round of the Portugal Masters as one of the later starters today alongside South Africa’s Richard Stearne and Paul McGinley.
The Irishman was one of the assistant captains to José Maria Olazabal, who led the European team to an historic victory over the Americans in what was labelled the “miracle at Medinah” to retain the Ryder Cup.
The 34-year-old Malton & Norton Golf Club ace was as close to the Ryder Cup drama as possible, other than actually playing, as he was part of the commentary team for BBC’s 5 Live coverage of the fabled tournament.
Now he will look to harness some of the magic from that occasion in the form of the bubbly McGinley over the first and tomorrow’s second rounds to try to mount a major challenge at the Oceanico Victoria complex in the Portuguese resort of Vilamoura.
A hoped-for impact in last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where he remained still troubled by a wrist injury, was stymied by two modest-scoring rounds, which a third round 69 could not rescue.
The upshot of failing to make the last round of a tournament, which remains the biggest of the six European Tour crowns he has so far accrued when he triumphed at St Andrews three years ago, is that he has fallen out of the top 50 in the world rankings for the first time in more than a year.
Not only will Dyson want to reclaim his standing in the world’s top 50 players, but he will be hoping he can savour a trademark strong finish to the tour, which climaxes with the Race To Dubai finale at the Emirates course from November 22 to 25.
The Portugal Masters event, which carries a prize fund of more than two million euros, will also be graced by Olazabal and, another hero of the Ryder Cup success in Illinois, Germany’s Martin Kaymer, who sank the winning putt to complete an astonishing third-day comeback by the European team.