Golf: Faldo's Flops; USA Wrestle Back Ryder Cup in Real Style GOLF: RYDER CUP

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), September 22, 2008 | Go to article overview

Golf: Faldo's Flops; USA Wrestle Back Ryder Cup in Real Style GOLF: RYDER CUP


Byline: By PHIL CASEY

THE Ryder Cup returned to American hands inMuhammad Ali's home town last night as Nick Faldo's plan to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" went up in smoke.

Trailing by two points entering the 12 closing singles at Valhalla, Faldowentwith sting in his tail all right, putting Padraig Harrington out last despite the danger of the Open and PGA champion's clash with Chad Campbell becoming irrelevant.

And so it proved. Paul Azinger's side, ending a run of three successive defeats, clinched victory with four games - those involving not just Harrington, but also star-of-the-week Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell - still out on the course.

Faldo said his singles order was a team decision, but it was only six years ago that Curtis Strange sent TigerWoods out 12th at The Belfry and that did not matter either.

The lesson was not learnt.

Europe's leader, criticised before the match for his choice of Poulter over Darren Clarke, had gambled - again - by putting big guns out late, but for them to influence the outcome the others had to keep the match alive.

Lead-off man Sergio Garcia simply could not live with the superb start made by Anthony Kim, however.

The American birdied three of the first four holes and although he won only one of those a par was good enough at the sixth.

European Tour chief referee John Paramor was called in there when Garcia hit into thick rough by a bridge. Kim came over to checkwhatwas happening and left with the words to the official: "You do what you have to do."

The time Garcia took to play the hole raised some eyebrows - so much so that a PGA of America statement was released to say "there was no issue".

As they started the back nine Harrington was just teeing off - and did so with the Americans up in eight games and down in only three. …

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