USA Surge Falls Short, Europe Reclaims Ryder Cup

Published by: dallaseste on 4th Oct 2010 | View all blogs by dallaseste

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USA Surge Falls Short, Europe Reclaims Ryder Cup


The European team withstood a charge from the Americans in the first Monday finish in Ryder Cup history to reclaim the Cup, 14.5 to 13.5. After severe rain pushed the singles matches to Monday, the Americans won seven of the twelve matches on the day, but their deplorable performance in the third session created too big a deficit to overcome.

With Europe needing five points to reclaim the cup, US Open Champion Graeme McDowell defeated Hunter Mahan 3 and 1 in the day's final match to claim Europe's sixth victory in the last eight Ryder Cups, and their first since their victory at K Club in Ireland in 2006. 21-year old Rickie Fowler, who was considered US captain Corey Pavin's most questionable captain's pick, birdied the last four holes of his match against Edoardo Molinari to halve the point, including 20-footers on 17 and 18 that sent the Celtic Manor crowd into an uproar.

McDowell, needing a victory in the day's final match to secure the European victory, was 3-up on Mahan at the turn thanks to three birdies on the front nine. Mahan was able to cut the lead down to two before McDowell birdied the 16th to go back up by three. Mahan then conceded McDowell's short par putt on the 17th to end the match and send the Cup back to Europe.

The American team needed 14 of a possible 28 points overall to retain the Cup, while Europe would need 14.5 to reclaim it. The European team entered the rare Monday session with a commanding 9.5 to 6.5 lead. In the day's early matches, Dustin Johnson, who had gone 0-3 before Monday's singles matches, stormed past Martin Kaymer with four straight birdies at one point for a decisive 6 and 4 win, and Steve Stricker defeated Lee Westwood 2 and 1 in the opening match. The two matches brought the US to within 9.5 – 8.5, providing a real sense of hope for the Americans.

Ian Poulter, in the fifth match of the day, soundly defeated Matt Kuchar 5 and 4, bringing the European lead back to two, and Rory McIlroy would battle back to halve his match with Stewart Cink, leaving Europe just 3.5 points shy of victory with eight matches yet to play. Analysts and spectators alike assumed the outcome was a foregone conclusion at that point, but the US would compete admirably and force the Europeans to the day's last match before the competition would be decided.

The US surprised the Europeans during the event's first two days, which were both delayed by rain several times, and entered the third day's session with a 6 – 4 lead. The Europeans, after receiving an expletive-loaded lecture from captain Colin Montgomerie, responded by annihilating the US in the third session, all but locking up a victory for Colin & Co. The US made it interesting on Monday with some inspired play. Francesco Molinari birdied the first two holes of his match against Tiger Woods before Woods stormed back by going 5-under during a four-hole stretch, including a hole-out for eagle from the 12th fairway. Woods went on to win the match, securing a career-best 3-1-0 record for the week.

In the end, the Cup came down to the last match, ending when Hunter Mahan was unable to birdie the 17th hole to extend the match.

 










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