Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ryder Cup Returns to U.S. After 9 Year Hiatus.

The Americans brought home the Ryder Cup after 9 years of frustration. Anthony Kim set the pace for today's determining singles matches with a 5 and 4 drubbing of Euro standout Sergio Garcia. Jim Furyk ended it on the 17th hole closing out Miguel Angel Jiminez 2 and 1 for the Cup clinching points. Just about an hour or so before Furyk's win the winner was still very much in doubt. Despite the Americans starting the day with a two point advantage, enough matches were close enough to leave the winner very much in doubt. Consecutive victories by Kenny Perry, J.B. Holmes, and Boo Weekley pretty much sealed the competition though, paving the way for Furyk's clincher. Expect native Kentuckians Perry and Holmes to be crowing the loudest in tonight's celebrations. 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 was the final tally. The lone bright star for the Euros was Ian Poulter who continued his stellar Cup play by beating Steve Stricker 3 and 2. Overlooked until today, Ben Curtis defeated Lee Westwood 2 and1 and Chad Campbell took down Padraig Harrington by the same score in frosting on the cake wins.

Kim set the tone however, perhaps with this exchange, reaching the first green in his match with Garcia, Kim saw both of their approach shots lying perhaps two feet from the cup. Garcia asked, "Good, good?" Kim retorted, "Let's putt them." A small, but important indication that anything won out here today was going to be earned. In fact the rookies on both teams carried more than their fair share of the weight. Westwood, Harrington, and Garcia didn't win a match for the Euros. Mickelson was dead weight for the US, Tiger was watching on TV. Poulter, Kim, Weekley, McDowell, Mahan, and Holmes were the standouts.

Captain Faldo may have some splainin' to do. 5 points qualifies as a beat down in the Ryder Cup. Poulter worked out for him, but his lack of coverage of ongoing matches due to having only one co-captain and his questionable player placements probably means this is his last captain's attempt. On the U.S. side however, expect a significant lobby to bring Azinger back as captain in 2010. Any odds on Clarke and Monty playing in 2010?

All in all it was an exciting three days. Sportsmanship was held in high regard, at least as far as Average Golfer could tell. What happens in Louisville stays in Louisville. As it should be.

Final Singles Results

Kim 5 and 4 Garcia
Mahan halved Casey
Karlsson 5 and 3 Leonard
Rose 3 and 2 Mickelson
Perry 3 and 2 Stenson
Weekley 4 and 2 Wilson
Holmes 2 and 1 Hansen
Furyk 2 and 1 Jimenez
McDowell 2 and 1 Cink
Poulter 3 and 2 Stricker
Curtis 2 and 1 Westwood
Campbell 2 and 1 Harrington

Next up, the anti-climactic TOUR Championship. The final event of the FedExCup. Ahem, it's already been won by Vijay Singh, so try not to fall off the edge of your seat.

Til' next,

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