The Golf Blog: Graeme McDowell clinches Europe victory in last singles match of Ryder Cup, after late charge by US

mulligan, 04 October 2010, Comments Off on The Golf Blog: Graeme McDowell clinches Europe victory in last singles match of Ryder Cup, after late charge by US
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The Golf Blog says: Wow, the Ryder Cup became insanely exciting on Monday (when most people were sleeping and/or at work in the U.S.). After trailing in a number of matches, the U.S. team made things incredibly close, losing by 1 point, 14.5 to 13.5. It was a rollercoaster ride to the very end. Here’s what happened.

1. Early U.S. Wins: Early victories by Steve Stricker (over Lee Westwood), Dustin Johnson (over Martin Kaymer), Jeff Overton (over Ross Fisher) gave the U.S. a chance. Stricker probably deserves MVP award for the US team, going 3-1-0, just like Tiger. But Stricker took down Lee Westwood, the No. 1 player of the European team.

2. Losses and halves: Stuart Cink had a close putt on 17 to beat Rory McIlroy, but missed (halve)–this turned out to be a backbreaker for the US. Had Cink made the short putt, the US would have won. In fact, Cink missed a short birdie putt on 16, too, so he had 2 looks from point blank range. Jim Furyk fought hard to come back in his match against Luke Donald, but eventually fell 1-down. Matt Kouchar got dusted by Ian Poulter (5 & 4), and Bubba Watson got crushed by Miguel Jimenez (4 & 3).

3. Late charge: Tiger Woods played amazing golf (6 birdies and an eagle) in the 8th spot, torching Francesco Molinari 4 & 3. Phil Mickelson (6 birdies) did the same in the 10th spot, beating Peter Hanson 4 & 2. Both of these matches were pretty one-sided (although Tiger lost the first 2 holes). The same with Zach Johnson’s victory in the 11th spot over Paddy Harrington (3 & 2).

4. Fowler charge: That left 2 matches on the course. Rickie Fowler kept the door open for the U.S. with dramatic birdies on the final 4 holes–3 of them to win the hole!! What a stud!

5. Hunter Mahan: That left it all up to Hunter Mahan in the final match of the day. But Graeme McDowell led most of the way and put the nail in the coffin with an incredible birdie putt on 16 to go 2 up. McDowell looked like a man possessed! On 17, clearly overwhelmed with the moment, Hunter flubbed his chip and that was it. Of course, some people questioned whether it would have been better to put Tiger Woods in the anchor match. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Well, the problem is that you don’t want Tiger Woods to be stuck last if the Ryder Cup had already been decided. In the 8th spot, Tiger Woods was instrumental in getting the late charge for the U.S. going. Had Hunter Mahan lost in the 8th spot and Tiger been stuck in the last spot, the Ryder Cup would have been over before getting to Tiger Woods.

Poor Hunter Mahan lost his composure at the press conference and broke down.

Congrats to Europe and Captain Montgomerie! Also, congrats to US and Captain Pavin. It was a great competition!

Click here for video highlights

Click here for closing ceremonies video


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