Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ryder Cup: The good, the bad, the ugly

   A few observations from the Ryder Cup while European fans are still singing 'Ole, Ole, Ole' outside the media center here at Medinah:
   -- It was impossible not to feel good for European captain Jose Maria Olazabal, who doesn't show much outward emotion but simmers inside. It was apparent how badly he wanted to win the Cup for Europe and to pay one last tribute to Seve Ballesteros. He got it in the most unlikely way.
  -- U.S. captain Davis Love III stuck to his plan of not playing any one more than four matches. It worked beautifully for two days. Sunday, however, was a disaster.
   "I'm sure there are a lot of great plans that sound really good the night before a game starts and then there's a fumble or a turnover or something happens and it doesn't work," Love said. "What happened (Sunday) is they played a little better than us."
   Yes, they did. The problem was the Americans needed to make them play even better and they didn't do it.
   -- What were the odds Sunday morning of Martin Kaymer scoring the Cup-clinching point? 
   No one would have taken those odds.
  -- Five players scored three points for the U.S. team: Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson. Only Dustin Johnson won every match he played.
   Ian Poulter was the only unbeaten European, going 4-0. Of course he did.
   Tiger Woods won half a point. Steve Stricker got blanked.
   -- It was awkward having Woods and Francesco Molinari finish their singles match after the Ryder Cup had been decided. There was an enormous greenside celebration going on while they were playing the 18th hole. Finally, Woods conceded a putt to Molinari that made the final match a draw. It changed the final score from 14-14 to 14 1/2 to 13 1/2. At that point, Woods said, the final score didn't matter.
   He was right.