Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pick a Card, Any Card...

...but not a Swede, for the team:

A magician has been recruited by Ian Woosnam, the European Ryder Cup golf captain, to advise his players during the tournament later this month

Jamil Qureshi, a golf psychologist who works on the mental side of the game with some of the best names in the sport, will work with the squad at the K Club in Ireland when they attempt to retain the trophy against the American team in a fortnight.

....Qureshi has given frequent displays of psychological illusion on stage and television.

It was Gary Evans, who finished fifth in the 2002 Open championship at Muirfield, who first sought his services. If Qureshi could produce a rabbit out of a hat, he could surely come up with a few ideas on how to get a ball to disappear into a hole, thought Evans.

The golfer got in touch with Qureshi's agent and asked, "Can this guy help me?" and Qureshi obliged. As Evans' results showed a marked improvement, so other players followed in Evans' footsteps.

Qureshi's best-known client is Sweden's Thomas Bjorn, the player who gave Woosnam a volley of abuse last Sunday when he was not handed one of the captain's two wild cards for the Ryder Cup.

Qureshi said he did not follow the Swedish approach to golf's mental side, in which all emotions are kept so ruthlessly in check that the players look as if they have escaped from Madame Tussauds.

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