McIlroy and co leave it late but Europe shocks US to win Ryder
MARTIN KAYMER, a cool German, gave Europe a massive bailout that contributed to the most unlikeliest comeback in Ryder Cup history at Medinah Country Club, on the outskirts of Chicago, and secured a 14 ½ to 13 ½ win for José Maria Olazabal’s team.
Europe went into the final day’s 12 singles trailing 6-10 and facing an uphill battle to keep their hands on the most prized team trophy in world golf.
In seeking to provide inspiration, team captain José Maria Olazabal had invoked the spirit of Seve Ballesteros – a Ryder Cup legend who passed away from brain cancer last year at the age of 54 – and, somehow, the players found inspiration.
Kaymer, whose form had been so suspect that he had played just once in the preceding two days, ensured Europe retained the trophy with a one-hole win over Steve Stricker in the penultimate match; and, then, Italian Francesco Molinari provided a bailout of his own when winning the final hole to secure a halved match with Tiger Woods to deliver the half point necessary for overall victory.
Rory McIlroy had required a police escort to get to the golf course on time after misinterpreting his scheduled tee time and only arrived at the course with minutes to spare. He went on to beat Keegan Bradley and, on an extraordinary day, was one of eight Europeans to win alongside Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Kaymer.
But for that rescue mission from the state trooper, McIlroy wouldn’t have made it to the course on time and would have been disqualified.
“I got here with a few minutes to spare and everything was okay. We’ve done it for Seve. Jose has been so inspirational in the team room, it’s just so emotional,” said McIlroy.
Paul McGinley, a vice-captain and one of those in contention to be captain at Gleneagles in two years’ time, said he felt “100 per cent it was realistic” for Europe to stage the comeback.
Kaymer, who won the US PGA in 2010, said: “The Major win was just for myself, my brother was here and my father was here, Sergio (Garcia) ran onto the green (to hug). Now I know how it really feels to win the Ryder Cup,” said Kaymer.
Ian Poulter, who won the last two holes to defeat Webb Simpson, added: “Ollie said to us at the start of the week, Ryder Cup is what memories and dreams are made of, and he’s been awesome.”