Graeme McDowell has finished a great personal year by winning the Ryder Cup for Team Europe in what turned out to be a very close match. Europe won by 14½ points to 13½ in the last of today’s singles matches, beating Hunter Mahan 3&1.
Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter were mobbed as Hunter Mahan conceded the 17th hole, giving Graeme McDowell the victory needed to bring the Ryder Cup back to Europe. All the Team Europe players gathered around Captain Colin Montgomerie as champagne and tears began to flow.
Colin Montgomerie told Sky Sports “It’s a proud, proud moment for me.”
Europe needed five points from today’s Singles and got the points they needed with wins from Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jiminez & Graeme McDowell; and Rory McIlroy and Edorado Molinari.
Team Europe won four Singles matches today:
Luke Donald beat Jim Furyk (1up)
Ian Poulter beat Matt Kuchar (5&4)
Miguel Angel Jiminez beat Bubba Watson (4&3)
Graeme McDowell beat Hunter Mahan (3&1)
The United States also won six Singles matches today:
Dustin Johnson beat Martin Kaymer
Jeff Overton beat Ross Fisher (4&3)
Tiger Woods beat Francesco Molinari (4&3)
Phil Mickelson beat Peter Hanson (4&2)
Zach Johnson beat Padraig Harrington (3&2)
Steve Stricker beat Lee Westwood (2&1)
Rory McIlroy v Stewart Cink – halved
Edorado Molinari v Rickie Fowler – halved
Here is some exclusive footage of some of the biggest names on the European Tour – including Ross Fisher, Robert Karlsson, Lee Westwood, Miguel-Angel Jimenez, Jose-Felipe Lima and Graeme McDowell – from the end of play on Day One of the Portugal Masters.
The golfers will be leaving their rivalries behind on the course to come together for the Genworth Financial ‘Putts For Charity’ Pro Challenge.
The cream of Europe’s golfers will raise money for charity by picking a ball with monetary figure on it and then attempting to putt the ball. If they succeed they donate the figure to charity.
The golfers also share their views on their current form and achievements over this year and the final stages of the European Tour. Also general chat about next years Ryder Cup, the Road To Dubai and their thoughts on golf being accepted into the Olympics for 2016.
Despite recently suffering with tonsillitis, Lee Westwood will still be available to represent Europe in this month’s Ryder Cup according to his agent Chubby Chandler. The English golfer missed last week’s European Open and will also miss the Mercedes-Benz Championship that starts in Germany on Thursday.
However, Chubby Chandler is insisting that Lee Westwood is ‘slowly recovering’ from the illness and that there is ‘no concern’ as to whether he will be fit enough to take part in the Ryder Cup. One thing that was admitted by Chandler though and something that will concern all European Golf fans, is that Lee Westwood is by no means 100% fit.
Going into the Ryder Cup without much recent playing time behind you is a big risk and it could affect the way Lee Westwood performs for Nick Faldo’s team. It is even more frustrating when you consider the form he was in before being struck down with the illness. Arguably in the best shape of his life, Lee Westwood finished 3rd in the US Open, climbing to number 12 in the world. I just hope that he can recapture this form when called upon by Team Europe. I’d be a lot happier placing my golf betting money on a European win if Lee Westwood is firing on all cylinders – that’s for sure.
Something that cannot be doubted is Lee Westwood’s record in the Ryder Cup. The 35-year-old has secured 15 ½ points for his team during his five appearances and has been Europe’s leading scorer – along with Spain’s Sergio Garcia – in the last two Ryder Cups. These type of statistics show why it is so important that Lee Westwood is available come next Friday.
Looking at Team Europe, he is one of the more experienced members of the side and his presence would be greatly missed. Along with Lee Westwood, the likes of Padgraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez bring with them a lot of Ryder Cup experience and the loss of any of them would certainly affect Europe’s chances of making it four wins in a row.
Like Lee Westwood’s agent though, we must remain positive. If he says that Lee Westwood is going to be fit, why shouldn’t we believe him? Keeping my optimistic hat on, I would say that Lee Westwood will simply be refreshed and raring to go as he looks to close the gap on Nick Faldo’s Ryder Cup record of 25 points.
Miguel Angel Jiminez started the fourth round where he left off yesterday by playing some excellent golf, to win the 2008 BMW PGA Championship in a 2 hole play-off against England’s Oliver Wilson.
Jiminez and Wilson both finished today on 11 under to share the lead after 72 holes. Both shot 4 under today.
But the shot of the tournament has to go to Miguel Angel Jiminez who scored a delightful hole-in-one at the fifth. The tee shot went as straight as an arrow bouncing short of the hole, once twice and then dropped straight in on the third bounce – wonderful golf!
As the overnight leader Robert Karlsson faultered, wilson stayed with Jiminez to false a two-way play-off.
There was nothing between Jiminez and Wilson as they re-played the 18th in a dramatic sudden death. So it was back in the buggies and off to the 18th tee once more. Oliver Wilson was again first totee off. Unfortunately, Wilson pulled it right and off the fairway to land in the rough, while Jiminez hit another perfect tee shot that landing in almost the same position as before.
An awkward lie meant Wilson could only use a 9 iron for extra loft that left the ball short of the green, while Jiminez hit another good shot onto the green.
Wilson recovered well with his third shot but it meant tha Jiminez had to drop a shot to keep Wilson in the sudden death play-off. Jimenez won the hole with a birdie while Wilson could only manage a par.
This is Miguel Angel Jiminez’s first maor PGA tour win and Oliver Wilson’s third runner up this season.
Did anyone else look at golf betting and fancy Jiminez at 8/1 before round four?