Ryder Cup - is even seeing believing?
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 The 38th Ryder Cup | Wrap | 01 Oct 2012
When the history of sporting comebacks are discussed in future years there is little doubt that the performance by the 2012 European Ryder Cup side at Medinah Country Club will be considered amongst the greatest ever achieved.
Against all odds, the Europeans have overcome a four point deficit heading into the Singles matches on day three and not only retained the Cup they had won at Celtic Manor two years earlier but won this particular encounter. Their one point margin was 14½ to 13½.
Spurred on by a remarkably noisy fan base and support, especially given that it was played in enemy territory, the Europeans knew they needed momentum early and received it when their leading few matches were going their way.
Luke Donald clawed one point back when he defeated Bubba Watson despite a spirited late comeback by the American. The score 10 -7.
Paul Lawrie was next to claim a point for the Europeans when he easily accounted for Brandt Snedeker 5&4 and it was 10-8.
The points kept coming for the Europeans when Rory McIlroy defeated Keegan Bradley 2&1. McIlroy’s victory was made all the more meritorious given the fact that he so nearly missed his tee time having misunderstood when he was to be playing. He arrived ten minutes before he was due to hit off and only had time for a few warm-up putts.
An almost unthinkable mistake was compensated for by McIlroy’s victory but if it had have gone the other way then the knives of British media would have been out. The score was then 10-9.
The sides drew level for the first time since the halfway mark on Friday when Ian Poulter, the undisputed star of the week for the Europeans, fought back from an early two hole deficit to defeat Webb Simspon. 10-10
Dustin Johnson claimed one back for the Americans and took them ahead again when he defeated Nicolas Colsaerts 3&2. The score was then 11-10.
Rose brought the teams level again when he birdied his final two holes to defeat Phil Mickelson at the last. 11-11.
Zach Johnson took the Americans ahead again when he was never behind in his match against Graeme McDowell and won 2&1. 12-11 to the Americans.
It had not been a great week for Lee Westwood until he drew clear over the closing stages of his match against Matt Kuchar and the scores were again tied at 12-12.
Sergio Garcia gained a crucial point when he won his final two holes against Jim Furyk to win 1 up and the Europeans had moved ahead and were now within just one point of a famous tie and the retention of the Cup.
Jason Dufner gained a point against the tide when he defeated Peter Hanson despite the Swede clawing back from a 4 hole deficit to take the match to the last. It was then 13-13 and the result remained in the balance.
The out of form Martin Kaymer lost his only match early in the week but he found a way against the odds to overcome Steve Sticker with pars at the 17th and 18th, his four foot par saving putt at the final hole enough to give him the point and Europe the retention of the Cup. 14-13 to the Europeans.
In the final match of the day Tiger Woods was up against Francesco Molinari in a seemingly David and Goliath battle but Molinari was quickly into stride winning two of the first three holes to be two up. As expected Woods fought back but intriguingly it would be Woods who faltered late when he bogeyed the final hole to halve his match with the Italian and the Europeans had not only retained the Ryder Cup they had beaten the Americans on home turf in one of the greatest of all Ryder Cups.
The Ryder Cup therefore heads back to Europe in the aftermath of a contest that not only was spectacular because of its result but because of the great manner in which it was played.
It was golf and sport at its best, intensely fought but with done so with the greatest of class and respect by those competing.
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