2012 Ryder Cup: The Meltdown at Medinah!
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 Ballasteros 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
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