Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Seve Looms Large through Ryder Cup Medium Ollie

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Seve Looms Large through Ryder Cup Medium Ollie

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Jones

IS there anywhere on the sporting planet lonelier than the golf course? On singles day in the Ryder Cup, I think not. Golf is always an isolating sport, in which you are denied even the comfort of physical contact with the opponent, and where your most dangerous enemy is your own mind.

Compound that with the special intensity of matchplay, the historical white heat of the Ryder Cup and -- if you are playing for Europe at least -- the presence of tens of thousands of whooping Yank spectators who have mistaken the 18th green for something between the Boston Tea Party and a wet-t-shirt-and-kegger-chugging contest in Cancun during Spring Break, and this is the pinnacle. The loneliest place there is. In the Ryder Cup -- for more than one reason -- no one can hear you scream.

Given all that, Europe's 141/2-131/2 win at Medinah last night was one of the most astonishing and memorable results in the long archives of Ryder Cup history.

Fighting back from 6-10 to a point where the title was not simply retained but actually won outright was simply outrageous -- the product of 12 independent minds absolutely focused, working in the stark isolation of golf's toughest tournament to turn the scoreboard an impossible shade of blue.

Two men provided the inspiration and neither of them were swinging their clubs. Jose Maria Olazabal was the medium and Seve Ballesteros the spirit of this supernatural victory.

Interviewed for British television when the match was won, Europe's captain, Olazabal, broke down in tears and covered his eyes with his white team cap, choked by the knowledge that everything which had made his great friend, Seve, so very great had been channelled by the fearless young men then celebrating in the Illinois dusk.

Who were the heroes? All of them but none greater than Ian Poulter, the human sine qua non of recent European teams -- a man who has never won a Major but has been at the heart of three victories in four Ryder Cups since making his debut in 2004. …

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