Miracle men! Kaymer holds his nerve on the 18th as Euro stars retain Ryder Cup
Europe completed the most amazing comeback in Ryder Cup history on Sunday night to win the trophy and spark incredible scenes of delirium.
Dressed in Seve blue, they did justice to the great man’s memory with a performance that almost defied belief. Everywhere you looked there were displays that took the breath away.
Magic moment: Kaymer sinks the winning put on the 18th green before running over to celebrate with his team-mates
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Trailing by four points overnight, five men from the United Kingdom gave them the start that will be talked about for years. Then came the unsung continentals, as Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer dredged the depths of their memory and conjured up rounds fit to compare with their great displays of old.
Twenty-one years after Bernhard Langer missed a five foot putt on the 18th green to lose a Ryder Cup, his countryman Kaymer holed one from similar length to retain the trophy. Looking to the heavens, poor Jose Maria Olazabal broke down in tears.
Luke who's talking: Donald won the first match of the day
For two days the chants of ‘USA! USA!’ had rung out around this property. Now they were replaced with cries of ‘Ole, Ole’ as those who had made the long and expensive journey from Europe bore witness to moments that were priceless. ‘You’re not singing anymore,’ they chanted.
Everywhere you looked there were heroes but one man stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Whatever else Ian Poulter achieves in his career he can always look back on a Ryder Cup he changed singlehandedly. It had looked all over on Saturday night with Europe trailing by six points at one stage, but Poults bulged his eyes and swung his putter to devastating effect to win his fourballs match with Rory McIlroy. It reduced the deficit to four and changed everything in the European team room.
Nerves of steel: Poulter continued his fine form to see off Webb Simpson
No away team had ever come back from four points down to win the Ryder Cup - the Americans at Brookline in 1999 are the only team to do it at home - but Europe now had a glimmer of hope.
‘There was a real energy about our team meeting last night and that was all down to Poults,’ vice-captain Paul McGinley told Sportsmail. ‘He gave us some momentum for the first time because up to then it had been flat. The Poults legend at the Ryder Cup continues.’
Take a bow, the UK’s leading lights. Luke Donald was sent out first to quieten his hometown crowd and bring down one of the totemic figures in the American team, Bubba Watson.
No 1: McIlroy overcame a strong challenge from Keegan Bradley
After a disappointing Ryder Cup to that point, the Englishman did his job brilliantly to win by a margin of two and one and put the first point on the board. Now the deficit was three. Paul Lawrie was next to finish, taking out Brandt Snedeker with a display of wonderfully controlled golf.
Rory McIlroy only made it through the gates before his match with 11 minutes to spare. It is hard to think of a more embarrassing episode in recent Ryder Cup history, but in the end it doesn’t matter. No preparation? No problem, as he played wonderfully to beat America’s man of the match to that point, Keegan Bradley. What a performance from Rory. With the vast hordes gathered on the 17th hole, the 23-year-old genius took a well-deserved bow. Now the points deficit was just one.
Then came Poulter. Would he be able to come back down to earth quickly enough after his Saturday heroics? What do you think?
Coming up Rose's: Justin Rose won the last two holes to win a thriller against Mickelson
A chip-in at the first suggested as much, and it heralded a marvellous encounter against the US Open champion, Webb Simpson.
Poulter was two down early on but came back as he always does. He made a miraculous par at the 16th and then won the 17th, before closing out the match at the 18th.
It took his return for the week to four points out of four and his Ryder Cup return to 12 wins against just three losses. He’s always been brilliant in these games. Here he was off the charts.
Braveheart: Lawrie (right) easily saw off Snedeker
Europe were level but only for a second, as Dustin Johnson beat Nicolas Colsaerts.
Then came Justin Rose against Phil Mickelson. It looked all over for Rose when Mickelson had a short putt to win the 15th to go two up with three to play.
But he missed and how costly it was to prove as Rose put together the finish of a lifetime. At the 16th he holed a clutch putt for a half and then at the 17th holed from 45ft to square the match.
Johnson and Johnson: American duo Dustin (above) and Zach (below) won the hosts' first points of the day
The sporting Mickelson applauded Rose, but there was more as the Englishman birdied the last as well for a sensational victory.
Europe were level at 11 points each. Zach Johnson edged America closer with a victory over Graeme McDowell, but Lee Westwood answered with a gutsy performance, given his problems over the first two days.
The unbearable pressure the Americans were now under was summed up as Jim Furyk choked horribly to gift a point to Garcia.
Making amends: Westwood bounced back from a shaky first two days to beat Kuchar
Then came Kaymer in the penultimate match against Steve Stricker. After holing the putt Kaymer ran in ecstasy into the embrace of his team mates.
Europe’s team and followers went mad. Back in the fairway, there was one match that had become meaningless. It involved Tiger Woods and rather summed up his Ryder Cup career. When he got to the green, Woods had to putt out to a background of rapturous European singing.
Down and out: Furyk reacts after his missed putt on the 18th hands victory to Garcia
Tiger had a four-foot putt to win his match against Francesco Molinari and missed. Woods had had enough, conceding Molinari a putt that was very missable. The halved point gained by Molinari meant Europe had not just retained the trophy but won it outright.
What an incredible day. This amazing sporting year had just enjoyed the encore it deserved.
Job done: Kaymer pumps his fists to hail the victory
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/golf/article-2210938/Ryder-Cup-2012-Europe-win-Martin-Kaymer-holds-nerve.html#ixzz280FBxdaX
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