Europe Win the Ryder Cup 2012

Starting the third & final day 10-6 down, the odds were stacked against Europe to even make a reasonable score, let alone retain the Ryder Cup by winning a majority of the 12 singles matches.  But with Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose & Paul Lawrie winning the first five matches, the final day was an amazing show of awesome, nail-biting golf.

Ian Poulter didn’t lead in his match against Webb Simpson until the 17th hole and Justin Rose needed 18 holes to beat Phil Mickelson finishing with two sublime birdies.

While Rory McIlroy beat the young charismatic Keegan Bradley after only arriving at the Medinah Country Club ten minutes before his tee time in a police car with the excuse he had confused Eastern with Central Time!

Luke Donald & Bubba Watson was the first match of the day & the first to finish with Donald winning 2&1. But apart from Paul Lawrie thrashing US rookie Brandt Snedeker 5&3 every match was a tight one, with many switching from red to blue and back again.

It went right down to the wire, the last two matches between Steve Stricker & Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods vs Francesco Molinari.  With three holes to play both matches were all square with Europe needing just one point to retain the Ryder Cup. And it went down to the 18th when Steve Stricker made his putt and left Martin Kaymer a shot to win or lose the Ryder Cup for Europe. With just one match remaining, Kaymer won the Ryder Cup for Europe in the most amazing comeback of all-time.

In a post-match interview José María Olazábal attempted to dedicate the win to his great friend Seve Ballesteros before breaking down with emotion.

Sunday’s Singles:
Bubba Watson lost to Luke Donald 2&1
Webb Simpson lost to Ian Poulter 2 up
Keegan Bradley lost to Rory McIlroy 2&1
Phil Mickelson lost to Justin Rose 1 up
Brandt Snedeker lost to Paul Lawrie 5&3
Dustin Johnson beat Nicolas Colsaerts 3&2
Zach Johnson beat Graeme McDowell 2&1
Jim Furyk lost to Sergio Garcia 1 up
Jason Dufner beat Peter Hanson 2 up
Matt Kuchar lost to Lee Westwood 3&2
Steve Stricker lost to Martin Kaymer 1 up
Tiger Woods v Francesco Molinari A/S


European Team up against it on Singles Day of the Ryder Cup

After two days of US dominance, the European team go into the third and final day hoping for little less than a miracle, if they are to retain the Ryder Cup.  But they were given a boost with Ian Poulter winning a point in the final foursome match yesterday with five birdies on the final five holes.

The score is 10 – 6 which means the US team only have to win four points from today’s singles matches; and there are some fantastic matches to look forward to.

European Captain Jose-Maria Olazabal’s hands have been tied and he has put all this weekend’s best performing players out first today.  Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose & Rory McIlroy will attempt to build some momentum by getting the blur points on the board.

There is a very slim chance of the European team retaining the Ryder Cup that was made all the better by Ian Poulter’s amazing win yesterday at a time when Tiger Woods was beginning to show some form for the first time this weekend.

Today the European team will be fighting for their lives against a strong US team and a course with next to no rough and fast greens that best suit their game.  They will also be wearing the colours of the Spanish legendary golfer Seve Ballesteros and have vowed to ‘play for Seve’.  When asked to comment on this gesture European Captain Jose-Maria Olazabal, a close friend of Seve’s, was unable to answer. Instead he gave a tight smile and turned away as his eyes filled with tears.

I’m hoping the European team can get off to a flying start to keep this year’s Ryder Cup alive as I look forward to the final day of one of the most exciting competitions in sport.

Ryder Cup 2012 Singles Matches

Bubba Watson vs. Luke Donald
Webb Simpson vs. Ian Poulter
Keegan Bradley vs. Rory McIlroy
Phil Mickelson vs. Justin Rose
Brandt Snedeker vs. Paul Lawrie
Dustin Johnson  vs. Nicolas Colsaerts
Zach Johnson vs. Graeme McDowell
Jim Furyk vs. Sergio Garcia
Jason Dufner vs. Peter Hanson
Matt Kuchar vs. Lee Westwood
Steve Stricker vs. Martin Kaymer
Tiger Woods vs. Francesco Molinari


Martin Kaymer challenges Lee Westwood for No.1 spot

They may have been Ryder Cup team mates not so long ago, but Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer look set to be in fierce competition for the remainder of October.

Westwood is unlikely to play for a month because of injury and this move was set to see him move ahead of Tiger Woods at the top of the rankings. However, Kaymer has won his last three events and could threaten the Englishman’s position.

After winning the Dunhill Links Championship, Martin Kaymer sits in fourth position currently. He is set to compete in the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Spain though and success in this tournament could see him overtake both Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood.

This would be a more conventional way of going to the top of the rankings, winning tournaments rather than sitting out through injury, but that is the way the ranking system works.

It is calculated over a two-year period and because neither Tiger Woods nor Lee Westwood plan to play before 4th November, Westwood – who has had a better time of it than the American in recent months – would overtake him on the 31st October.

Nobody took into account the form of Martin Kaymer though. He has been in inspirational form and even if he doesn’t quite get to the top of the rankings this time, there can be no doubt that he is playing some of the best golf of the year right now.

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has been having his say on the situation, backing Westwood to be No.1 by the end of the month, despite Kaymer’s surge.

Montgomerie said: “”I think Lee will be number one even if he doesn’t play. If Tiger does not change his schedule he will lose his number one spot, it is just the way the world rankings work.”

The main point Montgomerie was keen to stress though was how healthy this is for European golf. Two players battling it out at the top of the World rankings can only be a good thing.
“We have had a fantastic year in Europe, said Monty.  “There is a dominance and there is a changing of the guard over to Europe.”

This is certainly the case, with the Ryder Cup victory coinciding with major wins for Kaymer and Graeme McDowell as well as six Europeans in the top ten of the World rankings.

Who will be top come 31st October though?

Follow Thomas on Twitter

Poulter Vision from Oakley Armchair TV

On the back of the famous 2010 Ryder Cup victory by the European team, led by captain Colin Montgomerie at Celtic Manor on Monday, this clip from the Oakley Armchair TV series gives an insight into the wonderful prowess of one of the European heroes, Ian Poulter.

Poulter said after the event that his point in the singles was never in doubt, “I said in the morning on the range I would deliver a point. I am pretty passionate about this format, I love the Ryder Cup. I’ve watched so many matches over the years. I love it from the first tee, the songs, and being with all 11 team-mates. It truly is the best tournament in the world, and it always will be.”

Poulter Vision


Team Europe win the Ryder Cup in the final Singles Match

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