"That is the key to the Spaniard," says Ortíz-Patiño. "You appeal to his pride. Then he will make things work. That's a big part of why this Ryder Cup will work. It will work."
As the task consumes him, Ortíz-Patiño lives for his course. He rarely sees his wife of 27 years, Uta, who resides in Palm Beach, Fla., or his sons, Felipe and Carlos, 34, who live in Geneva and London, respectively. His friends paint a picture of a generous man who loves being at the center of a group but who nonetheless is difficult to get to know.
Ortíz-Patiño will have more vigils with the eagle owl before the Ryder Cup, but chances are that when the competition ends and golf's Spanish experiment is assessed, it will be this restless, singular man who will have performed a magnificent swoop.