Europe retains Ryder Cup with Kaymer win
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, 6:24 p.m.
MEDINAH, Ill. — Erasing some of their worst Ryder Cup memories, the Europeans wore the image of Seve Ballesteros on their sleeves and played their hearts out Sunday at Medinah to match the greatest comeback in history and head home with that precious gold trophy.
Europe got its payback for Brookline, when the Americans roared back from the same 10-6 deficit. This rally was even more remarkable, carried out before a raucous American crowd.
Jose Maria Olazabal squeezed his eyes and fought back tears when Martin Kaymer holed a 6-foot par putt to beat Steve Stricker and give Europe the point it needed to keep the cup. This was the first Ryder Cup since Ballesteros, the soul of European golf in this event, died in May 2011 of a brain tumor. Olazabal wanted his team to wear navy blue, Seve's favorite color, and added a clever touch — his iconic silhouette on the sleeves of their shirts.
“This one is for all of Europe,” Olazabal said. “Seve will always be present with this team. He was a big factor for this event for the European side, and last night when we were having that meeting, I think the boys understood that believing was the most important thing.”
Tiger Woods missed a 31⁄2-foot par putt on the 18th, then conceded a par to Francesco Molinari of about that length to halve their match. The extra half-point made it a clear-cut win for Europe, 141⁄2-131⁄2.
Woods and Stricker, the anchors in the lineup, didn't win a match.
Ian Poulter was the first to embrace Olazabal, which was only fitting.
It was Poulter who gave Europe hope Saturday evening when he made five straight birdies to turn a loss into a win and swing momentum. Poulter was up to his fist-pumping tricks again on the final day, winning the last two holes in his match against U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.
He had plenty of help. Europe's top five players in the lineup all won, including Rory McIlroy, who thought his match was at 12:25 p.m. — it was listed in Eastern time, not Central — and needed a police escort to get to the course with 10 minutes to spare. Then he came up with key birdies to hand Keegan Bradley his first loss.
The biggest match might have belonged to Justin Rose. He was on the verge of losing to Phil Mickelson when Rose holed a 12-foot par putt to halve the 16th, made a 35-foot birdie putt from the back of the 17th green to win the hole and then closed out Mickelson with a 12-foot birdie on the last hole.
Six of the 12 matches went to the 18th hole. The Americans won one of them.
The Americans rallied from a four-point deficit to win in 1999 at Brookline. But this was different. The Americans won big in those early matches. At Medinah, so many could have gone either way.
Europe has won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups.
Davis Love III became the first U.S. captain to sit every player at least once before Sunday, wanting them to be fresh for the decisive day. Instead, the Americans faltered at the end.
“We're all kind of stunned,” Love said. “We were playing so well. ... We got a couple of matches flipped there in the middle that cost us.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins stave off Ducks’ shooting barrage to win in shootout
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Greensburg woman accused of assaulting nurse in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- East Hills brawl involves 50 people, nets at least 1 arrest
- Fuel spill discovered on Loyalhanna Creek
- $1.5M grant will pay for Presque Isle sand
- Penn State trustee resigns, regrets Paterno vote
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- 12 local wrestlers advance to PIAA Class AAA finals
- Steelers restructure Brown’s contract to become salary cap compliant