Europe beat USA after record comeback
Posted in the New York Forum
Since: Oct 12
#1 Nov 28, 2012
Martin Kaymer sank a five-foot putt on the 18th green to get his team to the 14 points needed to retain the trophy.
Then a Tiger Woods bogey on the final green of the final match gifted Jose Maria Olazabal's side overall victory.
The victorious European captain said: "To the 12 men of Europe, what you did out there was outstanding. All men die but not all men live and you made me feel alive again this week.
"I don't know how heaven feels, but it must be close to this."
The win matches the record recovery of Ben Crenshaw's US team in Boston in 1999 and is the best from a European side in the Ryder Cup.
It was a fitting tribute to the late Seve Ballesteros, the man who did so much to reinvigorate the competition with his fabulous discount golf clubs and whose trademark navy blue and white the side wore on the final day in Chicago.
"Seve will always be present with this team," said fellow Spaniard Olazabal.
"He was a big factor for this event, for the European side. Last night, when we were having a meeting, I think the boys understood that believing was the most important thing. And I think they did."
Kaymer held his nerve in the penultimate singles match to beat Steve Stricker with his new scotty cameron putter, having been given some simple guidance from Olazabal.
He said: "Jose Maria told me:'We need your point. I don't care how you do it, just deliver.' But I like those, it was straightforward. That is the way we Germans are. Fortunately, I could handle it and I made the last putt."
The German's putt was the high point of an afternoon of scarcely believable drama where Europe first clawed back their overnight deficit of four points and then matched their opponents point for nerve-shredding point.
Blows were traded down the stretch, one side grabbing the initiative before the other snatched it back, until it came down to the last two matches on the final two holes.
Both were all-square, with overall score locked at 13-13.
When Steve Stricker three-putted on the 17th, Kaymer had a one-hole lead with his fabulous taylormade rocketballz irons. The German then made a brilliant approach from a bunker on 18, rolling home the pivotal putt as Stricker crumbled under the pressure.
It was left to Italian Molinari to seal overall victory, when he halved his match with Woods.
"When I knew I was coming out last, I was really happy because I knew the guys would do a great job and it would come down to the last matches," he said.
For the first time in three days, Europe had come charging out of the traps, Luke Donald going into an early two-hole lead over Bubba Watson and muting both his opponent and the crowd in the process.
With Justin Rose also two up on Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy holding off the previously unbeatable Keegan Bradley and the unheralded Paul Lawrie taking early control against Brandt Snedeker, there was an entirely different atmosphere around the course than there had been on the first two one-sided days.
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