Furyk becomes the marked man
Furyk stood several yards in front of the 18th green, alongside a group of his US teammates and their wives, as Kaymer stood on the green, bent over a six foot putt for everything: the match, the Ryder Cup and his own personal redemption after a dismal year.
With time seemingly standing still, Furyk dug his hands into his pants pockets and stared at the scoreboard behind the green, which showed the results of all the matches. All around the green, raucous European fans were waving flags and chanting, the scene more reminiscent of a soccer match in England than a golf tournament in America.
Kaymer’s putt rolled true, and after it disappeared in the cup, Furyk looked around, his own expression blank as he took in the celebrating European players and their fans. A cameraman rushing to get a shot of the scene ploughed into Furyk, who looked dazed.
The golfer wordlessly stepped around him and then dodged a photographer who was hurrying by him. He found Stricker, another captain’s pick, and they hugged. Furyk then hugged Phil Mickelson and Love before slipping his wife’s hand into his.
Together, they headed toward the clubhouse. As he walked off the green, Furyk was stopped by Paul McGinley, a vice captain of the European team and the likely successor to this year’s captain, Jose Maria Olazabal.
In 2002, when the Europeans won at The Belfry in England, McGinley and Furyk halved their singles match. McGinley drew Furyk, who went 1-2 here, into his embrace and whispered a few words of encouragement before letting him go. “I just said I was sorry what happened out there," McGinley said. “I feel bad for the Americans, to be honest.”
Furyk walked up the stairs and over the bridge, and when he came into view on the other side, one of the fans ringing the practice green shouted, “Way to go, Jimmy. Hold your head high.”
Before the competition began, Furyk said every player dreams of being the one to decide the Ryder Cup, knowing full well that failure is the flip side of success. “It’s something that you have to accept,” he said, adding, “You just have to be able to accept the fact that sometimes it turns out good, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
New York Times