After a 7-1 demolition in foursomes over the first 2 days, Europe went into Sundays singles matches with an overwhelming 10-6 lead.
Credit goes to the European Captain. Paul McGinley organised his team in a fantastic manner to stay in control after the 1st day foursomes, adapting his strategy to the form and attitude of his players.
Not once did McGinley drop a winning pairing, charging the confident players full of energy in the quest to win the Ryder Cup. Stenson and Rose cleared up over the first two days before an injury prevented the partnership continuing as Stenson withdrew.
Rookies Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson, on the shoulders of legends, secured two points in their foursomes matches as a commanding lead over the Americans began to emerge.
Into Sunday we went ….
The talismanic, major winning Rory McIlroy exploded out of the blocks, -6 through 6 holes, 5 up on poor Rickie Fowler who had barely put a foot wrong. The young American had contended in all majors this year, 4 top 5s, but once again, Rory pushed him aside with a commanding 5n4 victory.
Former US Open winner, Graemme McDowell, was thrown into the deep ocean, a match against a cocky Jordan Spieth who had shown the world of golf, once again, how good he really is. 3 up through 5, Spieth looked in control and on his way to another American point. However, McDowell had other ideas.
A troublesome middle part of the round for Spieth allowed G-Mac to fight his way back into contention before slamming home a couple of birdies on the back 9 to take the lead. 3 points from 3 for the European to make it 12-6 in their favour.
The charismatic and somewhat arrogant Patrick Reed wound up the Gleneagles crowd during his match with Henrik Stenson. The young rookie did himself no favours but not for the first time this week, Reed bagged himself yet another point to add to the American total.
With Europe in control of their own destiny, a burst of blue began to appear on the score boards.
Kaymer took Watson to church with an outstanding 4n2 victory. The US Open champion schooled the Masters Champion on European soil to put the tie almost to bed.
Man of the week, Justin Rose, unbeaten in 4 matches, shocked the crowd when he found himself 4 down through 6 holes. A pumped-up Hunter Mahan was not going to give up the Ryder Cup dream, not yet anyway. However, an inspired Rose went on a 4-hole birdie streak through the turn to level the match. It would remain this way and Rose would secure another half point for team Europe.
13.5-9.5 …. Possibly the most in form player leading up to the Ryder Cup, Jamie Donaldson, displayed pure excellence over the former major winner Keegan Bradley.
With the stage set, dormie 4 up, Donaldson lined up his pitching wedge towards a roaring crowd on the 15th green.
STIFF! The best wedge shot he could have possibly produced, 6 inches from the hole, gave Keegan no choice but to shake the Welshmen’s hand. The victory was ours.
A deflated American team would be beaten again, no fight, no nothing on the final day of play. The experienced quartet of Phil Mickleson, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson was nowhere to be seen. The only players who seemed hungry for the American team were Spieth and Reed, two rookies who led by example.
Garcia would finish off Jim Furyk with a 1up victory. Poulter took another half point against Webb Simpson. Westwood was beaten by Jimmy Walker, which was expected, the American, who has had a fantastic year, finished it off in style. The young Frenchman, Victor Dubuisson, halved with Zach Johnson. An unbeaten rookie who looked unstoppable this week, ‘Europe’s next big thing’, said Graemme McDowell.
16.5 – 11.5… A comfortable win for Paul McGinley’s men. As expected, the Ryder Cup belongs to Europe.
I think the Americans needed this guy …