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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Limerick Summary: 2010 Ryder Cup

Winner: Europe

I'll probably post a few thoughts about this Ryder Cup in tomorrow's post, but here's the finale in a nutshell:

After getting slaughtered in the third session and winning only .5 out of 6 possible points, the U.S. was down 9.5 to 6.5 going into singles. Here's how the singles played out in the first-ever Monday finish:
  1. S. Stricker -------- 2&1 --------- L. Westwood
  2. S. Cink ----------- Halved ------- R. McIlroy
  3. J. Furyk ----------- 1Up --------- L. Donald
  4. D. Johnson ------- 6&4 --------- M. Kaymer
  5. M. Kuchar --------- 5&4 --------- I. Poulter
  6. J. Overton -------- 3&2 --------- R. Fisher
  7. B. Watson -------- 4&3 --------- M. Jimenez
  8. T. Woods --------- 4&3 --------- F. Molinari
  9. R. Fowler ------- Halved ------- E. Molinari
  10. P. Mickelson ----- 4&2 --------- P. Hanson
  11. Z. Johnson ------- 3&2 --------- P. Harrington
  12. H. Mahan --------- 3&1 --------- G. McDowell
The final score: Europe 14.5, US 13.5. The U.S. came up a mere half-point short of keeping the cup, but it's their best showing "over there" since 1997 at Valderrama (where, btw, they were NOT defending).

There were a few standout performances by the Americans: Dustin won 8 holes versus Kaymer's 2; Overton won 5 of the last 7 holes he played; Tiger made 7 birdies and 1 eagle in 15 holes; Fowler birdied the last 4 holes and won the last 3 to square his match; and Phil won his first 4 holes and never looked back.

When Fowler managed to halve his match, it meant Hunter Mahan had to win his match with Graeme McDowell (now being called G-Mac by just about everybody). Mahan cut McDowell's lead to one on the 15th hole, but G-Mac won the 16th to go dormie. Mahan simply fell prey to the pressure on 17, leaving his tee shot shot short of the par-3 green and chunking his chip. (How do you prepare for the pressure of 35,000 fans at one hole in the Ryder Cup, anyway? Even McDowell said it was insane.)

Watching the U.S. team rally around Mahan, who was obviously crushed by the belief that he let the team down, touched even the usually callous media. That's one thing I'll talk about in tomorrow's post, but I think Rich Lerner may have summed it up best when he said that this is one loss the American team probably won't be criticized for. They very nearly pulled off the second biggest comeback in history, and finally convinced most of those watching that the Ryder Cup means as much to them as it does to the Euros.

Well-played, guys. Here's your limerick summary -- a reflection of the score, not your spirit:
The battle was tight during this Cup:
As rain left both sides playing catch-up,
The team from the U.S.
Scored just half-a-point less
Than needed to win over Europe.

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