Pride and awe from Europes Ryder Cup heroes
01 Oct 2012 - 00:48:36
Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup players reacted with pride and a sense of disbelief on Sunday after they had overhauled a 10-6 overnight deficit to defeat the United States 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.
The rampant Europeans made history by winning the closing 12 singles singles 8 1/2 to 3 1/2 as a star-studded US team, that included Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, collapsed to the dismay of 40,000 Chicago fans.
"I can't believe it, I really can't," said Graeme McDowell, who lost to Zach Johnson.
"We got beaten up by the Americans for the first few days. Then on this very green (18) yesterday we saw Ian Poulter drop a putt for the win. He turned things round.
"On Friday we were down and got the hairdryer treatment from Jose (Maria Olazabal). We had a sense of belief on Saturday. I don't know what it was. Great effort from the boys today.
"Jose wanted to win it for Seve (Ballesteros) and we wanted to win it for Jose and Seve. Jose has just been an emotional leader. He inspired and he got things right today.
"It will be beers and tears tonight. The Ryder Cup is coming back to Europe."
European hero Poulter, who birdied the last five holes in the final fourballs match on Saturday evening to keep Europe within four points of the Americans, also paid tribute to Olazabal, who had been under fire for some of his decisions.
"This was a team performance and you know, what the team has done today is unbelievable," said Poulter who won all four matches he played.
"There was a buzz in the team room last night that didn't feel like we had a four point deficit.
"For some reason, everyone was calm. Everyone was cracking jokes. We just felt we had that tiny little chance, and do you know what, the boys have proved today, and made history."
Spain's Sergio Garcia, who won the last two holes to overhaul Jim Furyk, said the memory of Ballesteros had been a crucial factor in inspiring the European win.
"I have no doubt in my mind that he was with me today all day, because there's no chance I would have won my match if he wasn't there," Garcia said.
"It was amazing, and it feels so good to be able to win it for him and for our captain, Jose, it's been amazing."
Justin Rose, who also won the last two holes of his match to stun US veteran Phil Mickelson, said: "We are in shock.
"We wanted to believe, we really did want to believe, but we had no illusions of how hard that day was going to be, four points against a team that's played so well all week."
England's Luke Donald, who spearheaded the European charge with a morale-boosting 2 and 1 win over Bubba Watson said that all the European players knew they had an uphill battle in front of them.
"But we believed in our hearts we could do this. It was my job to lead us off, fortunately I played great today and the other guys just followed. What a summer for British sport," he said.
"It's one of the highlights of my career. It's been down to a lot of people, but Jose has been a calming influence. He wanted us to do this for himself and Seve and we got it done."