Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Europeans Fight Back in Thrilling Final Few Hours at Medinah; 39th Ryder Cup

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Europeans Fight Back in Thrilling Final Few Hours at Medinah; 39th Ryder Cup

Article excerpt


DRESSED in the colours of the late Seve Ballesteros, Europe were fittingly fighting for all they were worth on the final day of the Ryder Cup in Chicago.

The four-point overnight deficit was whittled away as Luke Donald, Paul Lowrie, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose claimed dramatic singles victories to take the score to 11-11.

Donald beat Masters champion Bubba Watson 2&1 in the top game as the Europeans began their battle to retain the trophy they won at Celtic Manor two years ago.

Scot Paul Lawrie registered the second win of the singles defeating FedEx Cup winner Brandt Snedeker 5&3 and world number one McIlroy enjoyed a 2&1 win over Keegan Bradley.

Dustin Johnson beat Nicolas Colsaerts 3&2 but a passionate Poulter beat Webb Simpson and Rose unbelievably recovered from being one shot down with two to play to defeat American talisman Phil Mickelson.

The day had a quite astonishing start when word reached everybody that McIlroy was needing a police escort to reach the course in time for his match.

Two minutes late and he would forfeit the opening hole, five minutes late and he faced disqualification, but to the relief of every European he was driven into the parking lot with 10 minutes to go, ran across to the practice putting green and then proceeded to reach the turn in a four under par 32, albeit only two-up.

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal admitted his heart was "racing quicker than expected" and added: "We did not have that in mind. All of a sudden we realised Rory was not here and started to look for him. Finally we got hold of him and he came in." It was reported that the Northern Irishmen had seen a 12.25am tee-off time on television, but it was Eastern Time - one hour ahead of Chicago.

The United States, addressed by former Presidents George and George W Bush on Saturday night, led 10-6 overnight, which meant Olazabal's side had to take eight of the 12 games to retain the trophy with a tie. …

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