Most people think of golf as a boring sport, a sport that old men and uppity rich kids play, yet golf is more than that. This weekend when the Ryder Cup came to the United States, golf meant patriotism. Chants of “USA, USA” could be heard from the crowds as onlookers hoped to see the European invaders leave empty handed. Yet, in what was probably the most exciting Ryder Cup since 1999 when the U.S. staged a huge comeback victory, so too, did Europe on Sunday. The U.S. came into the final round with a 10-6 lead looking to easily finish off Europe with the first five matches, but everything fell apart. It all came down to Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods to help the U.S. win.
Instead, Europe sealed the deal when Martin Kaymer sunk a clutch putt to beat Stricker and bring home the trophy for the Europeans.
So after this historic Ryder Cup the question remains, will this be remembered as a memorable comeback or a historic collapse? The Hot Corner debates the ending to a crazy weekend in golf.
I hate when the U.S. loses in anything. I am an American and I bleed red, white and blue, regardless of what the doctors say. This Ryder Cup made me sick, because the U.S. had this trophy gift-wrapped. The Europeans did not make a comeback; we simply blew it. I understand why captain Davis Love III decided to front-load the final day.
I will never understand how Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk ever lost their leads being up one on 17. You cannot expect to beat Europe like that. Love needed to balance his lineup and should not have even had Stricker playing. I will never understand that move. Someone who did not win all weekend was relied upon to bring home the trophy. Love will have some questions after this day. I know that no one predicted the poor showings by Mickelson, Furyk, and Bubba Watson, but that is why you always have a backup. Europe might have won, but it was the U.S. that gave this Ryder Cup away. Karma is a dog, and the U.S. Ryder Cup team got bit hard this weekend.
While I am not that much of a follower of golf, I must say that Europe’s beyond incredible victory over the United States to win the Ryder Cup is nothing short of spectacular. In fact, do not be surprised if this becomes the next inspirational true-story sports film.
Some critics believe the Americans crumbled under pressure and gave Europe the momentum they needed to win the cup. I believe that it was more of Europeans making a rally of their own, fighting through the Americans and believing in themselves, that helped them take home that gold trophy.
Ian Poulter was the first to contribute to Europe’s unbelievably comeback. He gave Europe new hope Saturday evening when he made five straight birdies to start giving Europe the motivation it sorely needed. Poulter won again on Sunday, taking the last two holes in his match against U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson.
Five other players in the lineup won as well, including Rory McIlroy, who nearly missed the tournament after a time misunderstanding. McIlroy came up with three crucial birdies to defeat Keegan Bradley.
Six of the 12 matches Sunday went to 18 holes, the Americans winning only one of them.
It all came down to the very end. Stricker made an 8-foot putt par on the 18th, and Kaymer faced a par putt to win the match. Woods was already leading by one and in the middle of the 18th fairway.
But Kaymer sunk the par putt, and the celebration was on.
It seems that the Americans might have made mistakes that cost them the match, but Europe was able to work through those mistakes. Golf fans all over the world can think about who won or who lost all they want. After reading about it, Europe wanted it more, and they got it.
Readers of the Hot Corner are encourgaed to debate with Nick and Michael about hot sports topics.
If you have a debate email The Slate sports section at email@example.com