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Monday, October 1, 2012

'We did it for Seve!': Europe dedicates stunning Ryder Cup victory to Ballesteros in one of greatest comebacks in golfing history (but golden boy Rory very nearly missed his finest hour)

By BEN SPENCER, ROB PREECE and MARK DUELL

Moment of glory: Europe's victorious golfers are showered in champagne after winning the Ryder Cup with a thrilling comeback

Europe's golfers celebrated in style after producing one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history to retain the Ryder Cup.
The team, captained by Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal, overturned a 10-6 deficit to defeat the United States by 14½ points to 13½ points on a thrilling final day in Chicago.
They won the match while wearing the colours of Olazabal's compatriot and close friend, the late Seve Ballesteros, who helped Europe to five Ryder Cup wins during a glittering career as a player and captain.

Uplifting: The European team hold their captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, aloft after they won Ryder Cup on an exciting final day

As his team celebrated, Olazabal said: 'Seve will always be present.
'He was a big factor for this event and last night when we were having a meeting I think the boys understood that believing was the most important thing.'
The day started in extraordinary fashion when Northern Irish star Rory McIlroy only just made it to the tee in time, needing a police escort after he got his start time wrong.

Wonderful: The winning team surround their captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, and get their hands on the famous trophy after a dramatic final day

But it finished in remarkable glory when the European team clawed back their overnight deficit, winning their first five singles games and a further two points from Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, matching their US counterparts man-for-man.
That put Olazabal's side, almost unbelievably, 13-12 up, before they pressed home their advantage in the last two matches on the final two holes, first drawing level to retain the trophy and then winning the contest outright.

Historic: The scene on the 18th green after Martin Kaymer holed the decisive putt to win the Ryder Cup for Europe

British player Ian Poulter said: 'This was a team performance and the team have done an unbelievable job.
'There was a buzz in the team room last night that didn't feel like we had a four-point deficit.
'For some reason, everyone was calm. Everyone was cracking jokes. We just felt we had that tiny little chance and the boys have proved it today and made history. It has been unbelievable.

'My captain picked me to come and play and I owe it to him, and Seve, to be here today. It's pretty special.'
Speaking at the closing ceremony after the tournament, Olazabal paid tribute to the American players, captained by Davis Love.

Despondent: American player Tiger Woods's disappointment is clear to see as he walks off the course after Europe clinch victory

He said: 'The last three days have captured what makes this game of golf so special. Davis, you can be proud of your team and yourself.
'Obviously it is not the result you wanted, but if I was an American, then I would look at you and every member of your team and I would be very proud of my country.'
After thanking the fans, organisers, green-keepers, caddies and his vice-captains, Olazabal struggled to keep his emotions in check as he explained what the tournament meant to him.

source: dailymail



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