Ryder Cup heroes reunited on fun day at BMW Masters

by Daniel Hicks, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 24 2012 05:00 PM | Updated as of Oct 25 2012 01:00 AM

SHANGHAI - Jose Maria Olazabal was reunited with his Ryder Cup heroes on a fun-filled Tuesday before the serious action begins at the $7 million inaugural BMW Masters in at Lake Malaren on Thursday.

Olazabal and 11 of the 12 members of Team Europe came together for the first time since the dramatic defeat of the United States in Chicago.

Inspirational captain Olazabal was joined by Nicolas Colsaerts, Luke Donald, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood, who will all be competing in China this week.

The team, with only Sergio Garcia absent, shared stories of their historic comeback in the Singles at Medinah Country Club to defeat the United States 14 1/2-13 1/2 and retain the Ryder Cup.

Englishman Poulter, Europe's talisman who won four points out of four admitted that he still was pumped up by events at Medinah.

"It was very special," he said on Tuesday.

"I think everybody as a team bonded very well. That Sunday will go down in history. So to get us all back together again, all but one, it's great.

"It's great to see everybody again and to get back into some normality."

It wasn't such as normal day for German Kaymer, whose crucial point in the singles kept the Ryder Cup in European hands, and world number one Rory McIlroy who tried their hand at China's unofficial national sport table tennis, alongside the 18th green at Lake Malaren.

Their opponent was former world number one from Germany, Timo Boll, who impressed the golfers with his skill. China's number one golfer Wu Ashun also took part in the fun knockabout.

"We had a table tennis table in the team room at the Ryder Cup," said McIlroy. "So we've had a bit of practice.

"I've played a bit of tennis but this is very different and the spin he (Timo Boll) puts on the ball is incredible. It was almost impossible to return."

McIlroy gained a modicum of revenge for being taught a lesson on the ping-pong table when he triumphed in a fun nearest the pin chipping contest, again involving Boll, Kaymer and Wu.

"Yeah, I felt a lot more comfortable with a club in my hand," joked double major winner McIlroy.

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