Just before the final singles day began Jack Nicklaus was in the Sky studio, Butch Harmon had predicted a massive win for Team USA 18 -10, and even the European pundit couldn’t see a European win. Yet wise old Jack, the greatest golfer of them all said, well I don’t quite see it like that. It will be close and I feel the class is on the European side; they might come back and just win this, Team USA need to watch out.
How right he was, in an amazing final days singles golf, the gods and Seve were smiling on Team Europe as they came back to win 14.5 to 13.5. This has to be the greatest comeback of all, yes the Americans did it in ‘99 but that was on home soil, this was on foreign soil in front of a patriotic and noisy crowd.
You could sense from the beginning something special was about to unfold when the first four players all scored birdies off the first. Ian Poulter the hero from Saturday night chipped in, then later Rory McIlroy chipped in as well, after only arriving ten minutes before his tee time. Europe needed to get off to a great start and get some blue on the board and with Luke Donald winning the first match out, Europe won the first five matches. After that it was a rollercoaster of high tension and energy as the loud, raucous, American crowded were slowly quietened by the brilliance of Europe’s play.
The significant action seemed to happen on the last few holes, especially the 17th. Team USA lead 1up in two matches involving Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk; Phil was in the bunker and played a delicate chip to within a few feet. Then Justin Rose knocked in a 35 yard put to win the hole with a birdie, Mickelson then went long on the last and the impossible seemed probable as Rose won the hole to win the match 1up. Furyk thinned his chip and could not put in the subsequent put back up the green on the 17th, he then lost the 18th and those two matches seemed to spell the end for Team USA.
Still it did go down to the wire, Martin Kaymar nearly gave us a scare on the 18th when 1up only needing to two put from 20 yards away he left himself a tricky winner but luckily he made it and the cup was retained, then Woods conceded the last hole to Molinari and the impossible became a miracle. Europe had won the Ryder Cup.
The Ryder Cup is the best golf to watch on TV by miles and last night’s singles will go down as one of the greatest ever.