Sports

Rory McIlroy left in a trance during speech by ex-Man U boss Alex Ferguson before Ryder Cup

  • Europe’s Rory McIlroy plays a shot on the 15th fairway as Sergio Garcia, left, and Martin Kaymer look along the fairway during a practice round ahead of the Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Europe’s Rory McIlroy plays a shot on the 15th fairway as Sergio Garcia, left, and Martin Kaymer look along the fairway during a practice round ahead of the Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

  • Europe’s Rory McIlroy speaks during a press conference ahead of the Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    Europe’s Rory McIlroy speaks during a press conference ahead of the Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

Rory McIlroy says he was in a "trance" while former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson delivered a speech to the Europe team ahead of the Ryder Cup.

The top-ranked McIlroy, who is a big United fan, says "I was just sitting there and looking up at him, and I didn't take my eyes off him."

Ferguson, widely regarded as British football's greatest coach, spent 30 minutes talking to Europe's players on Tuesday, and then answered questions.

McIlroy says the Scotsman is "a very inspirational sort of man. ... He's got a lot of authority and the room just goes quiet and everyone listens."

Ferguson's United teams were renowned for scoring late goals to win matches, and Sergio Garcia says "hard-working, confidence, belief, never giving up" were themes of the speech.