Monday, 4 October 2010
The Ryder Cup has long been kind to the sons of Ireland. Many's an unheralded journeyman "mick" (that's our word so I can use it) has drank deep of glory from it's golden rim. Eamon D'Arcy, Christy O'Connor Jr, Philip Walton, Paul McGinley - none of whom got a sniff of a major, all landed that crucial point to secure the biggest prize in Golf for Europe.
Three Irish lads lined up for Europe this week, one grabbed all the headlines for his Tigerish boasting, one grabbed headlines for being included in the team at all, while one took his place without much fanfare, despite being the US Open Champion.
Graeme McDowell, kind of came in under the radar for this Cup, but he outperformed both the precocious talent of Rory McIlroy and Padraig "Three time Major Champion (TM)"Harrington as Europe secured a close fought victory against a resurgent USA. A hard fought point against one of America's toughest competitors was sealed with some of the most gutsy putting you could imagine.
And might I throw in a few massive congratulations to the Mechanic, Miguel Angel Jimenez. He came into this week with a fairly woeful Ryder Cup record, just two points to his name which if we're honest had been largely won by his playing partners. There can be no doubt how crucial he was to this effort however. Putting of the highest order yesterday kept him in and then saw him win with Peter Hanson yesterday, against opposition that were playing some of the best golf out there, Overton and Bubba Watson. And to be lined up against the longest hitter on the US team, Watson again, on a wet course were length was already an issue, I didn't think he could match it. I though the long holes would offer too much to the American. but in his own inimitable style, puffing a cigar as went, Jimenez took him down. That's what it takes to win Ryder Cups - guys to step up. When Westwood couldn't get it done Europe needed someone in the middle order to keep things going and boy did Miguel do it. Heroic effort.
Tad disappointed to see Kaymer struggle these past few days, he doesn't seem comfortable in the atmosphere, doesn't seem to get fired up by it all. It'll take a few more years for him maybe, but he better get into it cause you'd imagine he'll be on more than a few teams to come.
But Luke Donald, what a playist. He's nearly forgotten as he doesn't offer the same wild eyed enthusiasm of Poulter or McDowell but God does he produce it when he's needed. It's a shame he missed out last time around, Faldo could have used him - and he'd have been a candidate to set some records beyond that 6-0 foursomes streak he's got going. I can't wait to get home now and watch the highlights and celebrations again, what a great Ryder Cup. I think the DVD for christmas will be welcome viewing.
Oh, and well done Monty. I don't know what was said in the locker room on Saturday, too rude to print here apparently anyhow. But by **** it worked!