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The Ultimate Drama PDF Print E-mail

Monty and his Vice Captains celebrate victory at Celtic Manor

 

How many people actually watched the Ryder Cup singles matches ? I bet not many. First of all, it was pushed to Monday and most people with a pulse work on Monday mornings, and because October in Wales is as pleasant as December afternoon in Cleveland, or so I hear. After all of the rain earlier in the week, it seemed as if the site selection, would destroy the event.Also contributing to the non-exposure was the fact that the telecast was moved to USA network (I didn't even know that channel was still around).If You did get to see it, because you are a)retired, b)on vacation or c)called in sick to watch . . . then you were treated to a handful of hours of the ultimate drama of sports.The Ryder Cup can't be ruined by any of these outside factors, it remains the best event in golf period.Nowhere in golf, do you find fans and players so passionate about an event, where Europeans and the rest of the world root against the U.S, and Tiger and Phil fans root for each other. Finally the sun came out, and with it came drama probably bigger than Samuel Ryder envisioned, when this match amongst contemporaries started in 1927.

At 9 1/2 to 6 1/2, it seemed the stars and stripes were done, no chance, adios. The U.S squad got back in the match by staking huge wins by Steve Stricker (over Europe's leader Lee Westwood), as well as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and most notably Dustin Johnson dusting off Martin Kaymer 6&5 . . .  just to let Kaymer know what might have been had he been in the playoff at Whistling Straits (LinksNation will be at Whistling Straits on Oct.16th). Zach Johnson also had an impressive victory over Padraig Harrington. Europe had it's aces too, such as Luke Donald beating Jim Furyk, Miguel Angel Jimenez dusting Bubba Watson, and Ian Poulter (Matt Kuchar 5&4) who has turned into the best Ryder Cup player on the planet.

By the time the dust began to settle, there were two matches that would decide what side of the Atlantic that Samuel Ryder's Cup would be for the next two years: The first was Ricky Fowler vs Edoardo Molinari. Molinari was 3 holes up with 3 to play, All he needed to do, was tie any hole coming in and the cup would be won by the Europeans, he was assured of atleast a tie. As fate would have it, the young American executed perfectly on the 16th and 17th holes and stood on the 18th tee just 1 down. After more miscues by the Italian, it came down to a 16 foot putt by the young kid from California. This was his chance to steal half a point and keep his team and country's hope alive. The putt breaking slightly left to right, rolled gently down the slope and poured into the jar for birdie 4 ! Ricky Fowler looked like he could be the X factor in this event, but Hunter Mahan was 2 down to Graeme McDowell and needed 1/2 a point to snatch the Cup from Monty and the rest of Europe. On the driveable par 4 fifteenth, McDowell drove into the thickest rough, just right of the green and Mahan came up just short of the green with a better lie in the thick stuff. The Irishman left his second shot in the cabbage, then gouged his 3rd out to 8 feet past the hole. Mahan lobbed his to four feet. McDowell then made the gutsy putt for par, and left the stage to Mahan. Hunter calmly poured in his four footer to get the match to within 1. Could the U.S team pull this off ? What once seemed like sure demise only 2 hours earlier now seemed more than remotely possible. On the 16th, the Irishman had a fifteen ft downhill putt to go 2 up with 2 to play. Just like the guy at Pebble Beach in June, he showed why he is the U.S Open champion, and nailed the putt to go "dormy" heading to seventeen. Mahan now had to win out to get the half point USA needed to retain the cup.

On the par 3 seventeenth playing 195yds, McDowell hit to the right edge of the green some 35 to 40 feet away. The door was open for Mahan, his shot appeared online in the air but seemed to lack the distance, landing some 10 yds short of the green. The U.S team needed a heroic chip in, something similiar to Larry Mize in the '87 Masters. It wasn't to be, he flubbed the chip,advancing the ball just a few yards  . . . the pressure was too much for one man. The Irishman lagged his putt down beside the hole and the match was conceded. The Cup now belonged to Europe once again. In the best Ryder Cup since Brookline in '99 and Kiawah in '91, the game of golf came out a winner. It was fitting that European Captain Colin Montgomery, perhaps the best Ryder cup player of all time, wins as Captain.

Team Europe 2010

 

Can't wait for Chicago (Medinah) in 2012, I've got dibs on a bleacher seat at Wrigley, a dinner at Ditka's and a little exhibition called The Ryder cup. See you there.

 
A Day at Celtic Manor - Ryder Cup 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

MK (UK version) at Celtic Manor

 

LinksNation Uk correspondent Micky Kenz spent Tuesday in Wales, here are a few of his observations from Celtic Manor, the site of the 2010 Ryder Cup:

 

I awoke on the 1st day of practice rounds to find lots of mist in the air.We entered into Newport

station approx 20 minutes after leaving Bristol in England, and caught the bus to the course.Upon going through security we noticed that the new course was down in the valley below the original course and club house.As we walked down the hill you could see the mist still hovering below, we trudged down the man made walkway which had to be 1000ft above the course.It was noticeable that not many people were in attendance this early in the morning.

Jim Furyk tees off as teammates look on

 

We inspected the 18th green which is directly at the bottom of the path and in front of the new

impressive 2010 pavilion.It was already noticeable how thick the rough was around the green, and that any wayward shots into the green could prove almost impossible to recover, especially as it was only Tuesday and that more rain was due which would only make it worse.

 We wandered then down towards the 1st fairway, where the USA was just teeing off.We found an

advantageous position  across from the landing area of their tee shots.Tiger bombed his tee shot deep and right, into the center of the fairway past the bunkers on the left, and over the trouble of the the dog leg.Stricker split the fairway but approx 30 yards behind Tiger, Mahan with Zach were down the left in the light stuff.

All 4 peppered the flag to within 15 feet, and we all thought . . . the boys are in town.It was noticeable that the USA team spent at least 10 minutes on each green putting to possible pin positions.

 

 

211 yd Par 3- 17th

 

The 2nd group was a little indifferent.

Cink, Overton and Kucher all finding the long stuff, with only Furyk (a little shorter than the others) finding the short stuff.Furyk found the middle of the dance floor, whilst Kucher bunkered.Cink scowled as he saw the nasty stuff that is the heavy rough in Wales. So rough, you could lose a sheep in there if it wasn’t woolly enough.He chunked out short and gestured like he had broken his arm, since the grass was so thick.Overton duly followed him.

The following group consisted of a new starlet called Ricky Fowler, little known on this side of the pond, and looked young enough to be my son, although I would make him cut his hair.

He found the bunker down the left side, Big Bubba found the “Cink” rough, as did Johnson, whilst big Phil split the lot with a bomb. What seemed like an enormous ease of a man that can really play the game in his sleep.Bubba chunked into the bunker right side of the green, whilst Fowler caught the lip and fell well short.Phil Mickleson was the man however, with the easiest swing a man make, he lifted the ball to within 5 feet of the stick for a 3.

We followed for 3 holes and what was noticeable was that Tiger always walked off in front on his own. The younger guys talked discretly amongst themselves. Cink and especially Mickelson being the daddies of their respective groups.Mickelson especially having a great repartee with his group and with the crowd.

As the Americans played through 3, we trudged back through what was now turning to mud. We went to the 18th fairway and picked a spot on the landing area again, to see the Europeans

complete their first 9 holes on the homeward straight.

A long slight dog leg left par 5 reachable in 2 for the big boys if they hit the fairway, narrowed in just the right place and with bunkers down the left to try and catch the biggest boys.

Rory "the kid", came down over the bunkers just off the fairway but in the deep stuff, 5 yards from

us but couldn’t see his ball. Even Columbo might have struggled.

Westwood and Sergio

 

Team USA approaches green

 

McDowell found the fairway, but about 20 yards behind Rory. The Molinari brothers found the lighter down rough on the right. The brothers both had to lay up as no choice was offered, the fairway snaking down to the lake in front of the green.Rory had no choice either, but McDowell got out the 3 dog, Sploosh! Water hazard. Followed that with another one. Rory then dropped one to let rip. It had the legs but not the direction.McDowell dropped by the lake and fizzed a shot to the flag at the front, which then came back down the slope and into the water.This hole will prove massively interesting and as impressive and 18th as you will see.Very Valderrama esque.

18th at Celtic Manor

 

We watched as Westy carried his approach, but he ended up in the bunker, which if your going to carry this is where you will stay dry.Woods hit the green front left, the most impressive of the day.

It was now time for a pint (which turned into 4), as we had corporate hospitality overlooking the dangerous par 3 17th.Go to the right at your peril, a very steep hill with more sand than the

Sahara awaits.By this time most of the people in the exclusive club were saying how easy the hole was. (Beer talk we think)

We wandered then around the course picking holes where we could.Another striking factor was the narrowing of fairways and growing up of rough, where the balls would land.

Apart from 18, the hole that could have a massive deciding factor in this competition is 14.Water to the right comes into play off the tee, followed water left up to and around the green. I think this is the big hole.Par could win you the hole here and if the wind blows like it could this time of year, it could mean curtains in a tight game.

 An overview: considering the weather that we Brits have had here, the course is in tip top condition, and allegedly drains very quickly. It will need to be if the forecast is correct for Friday.I think that this could be very tight, but I think that the Europeans team spirit will pull them through.Strangely, it seems like they have all been best friends for years and with all the joking around and banter that they have, you could well believe it.

The example was with Westy and Sergio, taking the mickey out of Jiminez on the 8th tee whist he

was playing.

Highlight of the day though, had to be a member of the gallery asking “Woosie” whilst playing a

game with Sam Torrance, how many clubs he had in his bag.

What followed later in the day nearly killed us.The walk back up the hill.More annoyingly after

cardiac hill we were told that there were no buses at the top.

 May the best team win! From a wet and windy Wales.            

-Micky Kenz

Celtic Manor

 
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