The Shocker in Chicago!
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/30/12
On Saturday night, the U.S. held a 10-6 lead over Team Europe at the 39th Ryder Cup matches. But speaking on The Golf Channel, David Feherty said it felt like the score was "tied," 10-6. Likewise, this writer also felt that the score was much closer than the score indicated; after torching Medinah with his putter on Friday, Nicolas Colsaerts burned so many hole edges on Saturday that somebody needed to give him a bottle of Bactine™ - he was that close, that often.
And when Luke Donald grabbed a 1-up lead on Bubba Watson at the second hole, the momentum shift was clearly on.
SUNDAY SINGLES MATCH PAIRINGS:
MATCH 1At 4:23 p.m. CT, NBC's Johnny Miller, stunned, told his audience, "the U.S. is in big trouble." The Americans' lead was gone. Tie game, 10-10.
MATCH 6At 4:28 p.m. CT, Team Europe led for the first time, 13-12, needing only one more point to retain the Cup.
MATCH 11At 5:06 p.m. CT, Johnny Miller told his NBC audience, "A miracle has to happen on the 18th - right now."
At 18, Kaymer hit driver into the right fairway bunker, while Stricker safely played to the right side of the fairway. Both Kaymer and Stricker approached safely to the left side of the green, but Stricker was away - no thanks to a hook lie in a hook wind from 164 yards. Stricker made his par-saver, but Kaymer wrote Ryder Cup history by draining his own par-saver, pipeline - right down the middle.At 5:13 p.m. CT, it was stunningly and irrevocably over - Team Europe had retained the Ryder Cup, rendering the conclusion of the twelfth and final match meaningless.
The Ryder Cup matches do not have a Conn Smythe Trophy or equivalent MVP award, but if such an award existed, the award would go to Ian Poulter of Team Europe. After stoking Europe's hopes late Saturday afternoon, Poulter maintained the pace against the defending U.S. Open champion.
Dozens upon dozens of singings of "Olé, Olé, Olé" followed, and after a chant of "Seve!" during the closing ceremony, Team Europe captain José María Olazábal had to wipe away a tear before saying, "I'm sure he is very happy where he is" - which drew a burst of applause.
In their follow-up coverage on The Golf Channel, Nick Faldo revealed that he had tweeted that now is finally the time to replace the European Tour logo with one bearing the shadow of a Seve Ballesteros fist-pumping. It is hard to argue with that opinion. Seve will undoubtedly loom large in the forthcoming highlight video and in the books that will come along in the months and years ahead.
José María Olazábal said Saturday night, "I still believe." And this writer went to sleep Saturday night with the nagging feeling that Captain Olazábal was correct.
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Image via PGA of America
[ comments ]
I was glad when the announcers stopped talking toward the end. Not surprised the U.S. lost.
Whoa, this was the most epic round of team golf I've ever seen. It was riveting, even my girlfriend was completely drawn in, by the end she was cursing out Stricker unmerciful. I was impressed with the play of the Euros especially Donald, Rose, Poulter, Rory. The crowd was hostile but they didn't let it affect their play. Sweeping the four matches ties the score (of course Lawrie makes it five, he played great too) and all of sudden its a new ballgame, there's new hope. Some of the US guys tightened up. Furyk was takin forever over his shots. I thnk the moment got to him. Donald was cool as ice out there and he did it with little to no histrionics just quietly getting it done. I have a new found respect. Same for Kaymer. I feel like his play over the last couple holes and the putt to win, was monumental for him, like career defining moment. Poulter was in some kind of fugue state. He was somewhere else.
Matt McGee says:
I agree, beef. I wanted the US to win, but it was a fantastic tournament, all around. Some of the best golf-under-pressure that I've seen. Looking forward to 2014.
We got out coached, with a lead the USA had going into on Sunday I would have tried to put out the Europeans out early. I would have stacked my game with our "top guns" early as the Europeans did. Even halving matches would have won the USA the cup but instead we lose the first 5 or so. The second guessing of Love will continue.
I agree, we should have tried to bury them early... great golf.
Biggest collapse in sports history??? Quite possibly...
bducharme have you forgotten about the Houston Buffalo game Jan 93. The Bills recovering from a 32-point deficit to win in overtime, and it remains the largest comeback in NFL history. Houston 38 Bills 41. Houston was ahead 35 to 3 in the 3rd quarter. I watched that game in disbelief.
falcon50driver - nope. I saw that game as well. I still think this was a bigger collapse. But that's just my opinion. One of the reasons I think this was a bigger collapse was because of the venue. The Euro's were playing an away game and the crowd was fairly hostile. Well played by the Euro's but a HUGE choke by the American's!
@bducharm I don't think so. The Yankees going up 3-0 then eventually losing the '04 ALCS to the Red Sox was way worse. The first team to ever blow a 3-0 lead in a best of seven. At the end of the day the Ryder Cup is just an exhibition. In MLB, NFL, NBA, etc the playoffs are the ultimate goal. They bust their asses all year long just to get into those playoff spots.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Beef: Those twelve players for both teams played like crazy in order to make their respective Ryder Cup teams, as well - they always do. But your comparison to the Yankees is accurate - and I would also point to the 2010 Boston Bruins in their ECSF vs. the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins won the first three games, then collapsed, losing the final four games of the series - including a 4-0 shutout loss at home! The next spring, the Bruins came back to capture the Stanley Cup, capping it with a 4-0 Game 7 shutout victory at the Garage in Vancouver.
The captain of the U.S. 2014 Ryder Cup team should have the 2011 Stanley Cup highlight video in his arsenal, IMHO.
At first I thought the Europeans were crazy to put Luke out against Bubba. Crazy long against short and accurate. Luke reminded everyone one how he got to be World Number One for so long. Amazing performance.
Not that I put a lot of stock into the OWGR, but the 6 lowest ranking players were all Euros and they won 3.5 points on Sunday.
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