Ryder Cup comeback arguably the most compelling television golf viewing ever

2012-10-05 00:00

IT just goes to show, you never can tell in sport.

The miracle at Medinah is a lesson to us all and the lesson is, anything is possible and never give up.

We all know the saying that “It’s never over until the fat lady sings”.

Well the Americans thought that the fat lady had completed her aria and victory was a formality. It was an astonishing European comeback, which eclipses the victory by the Americans, who also trailed 10 points to 6 at Brookline, Boston, in 1999. Ironically the final score was the same, 14.1/2 – 13.1/2.

At the time veteran BBC radio commentator Alistair Cooke said the Brookline Ryder Cup marked “The arrival of the golf hooligan”.

He wasn’t referring to the spectators but to the players and some of the wives who celebrated by dancing on the green after a long putt was holed by Justin Leonard on the 17th green. Olazabal, his opponent, was patiently waiting to putt. They say, “What goes around comes around” and it was a strange coincidence that the captain of the 2012 Europeans was Olazabal. He didn’t say it, but he must have enjoyed sweet revenge last Sunday afternoon.

The 2012 comeback was better than Brookline because the Europeans did it on American soil in front of raucous partisan spectators and perhaps something that has been overlooked is that the Americans actually led by 10 points to 4 at one stage late on Saturday. Ian Poulter holed 5 consecutive birdies to make the score 10-6.

It was a brilliant victory for Europe and one cannot take that away from them. Conversely the Americans, in time, will see it as a choking collapse.

This is similar to a cricket team on the road to victory, then losing a number of quick wickets to eventually lose the game.

There’s no other way to describe it. It was a collapse.

The Europeans will say they had the “Seve factor” as motivation, but they had to play well and put pressure on those Americans with later tee off times.

The final day, Sunday, was arguably the most compelling television golf viewing ever, and those who saw it will remember it forever.

From the 19th hole:

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly and made the world community smile.

A representative from Israel began: “Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses. When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought, ‘What a good opportunity to have a bath.’

“Moses removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water.

“When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Palestinian had stolen them.”

The Palestinian representative jumped up furiously and shouted, “What are you talking about? The Palestinians weren’t there then.”

The Israeli representative smiled and said, “And now that we have made that quite clear, I will begin my speech.”

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