Sunday, September 28, 2014




GLENEAGLES: Let the soul searching begin. Once again a United States team leaves a Ryder Cup asking the same question: What do we have to do to win Samuel Ryder’s prized chalice?
Europe’s 16.5-11.5 victory makes it three in a row for the Europeans, the sixth victory in the last seven matches and eight of the last ten.
We’re talking domination, folks.
Get ready for the usual platitudes from another losing U.S. team: They just played better than us; they holed the putts when it mattered; they jelled better, yada, yada, yada. Sorry, but those excuses don’t wash when you’re on the losing streak the U.S. is on.
The U.S. ostensibly lost this match because of two foursomes sessions. Twice they went down by 3.5 points to a half.
Symbolic? Perhaps.
The U.S. players will disagree, but once again Europeans were a more cohesive unit. Maybe that explains why they dominated the foursomes, the format that calls for utmost unity.
The writing was on the wall from the start of the singles, with Europe 10-6 ahead. But it became clear the U.S. squad was dead and buried when Rory McIlroy took out Rickie Fowler 5 and 4 to earn the first singles point. 
Even Tom Watson in his prime would have struggled to defeated McIlroy. The world number one was 6 under par for six holes. Fowler was never going to survive that tempest.
"There was no option other than to win. I played my best golf of the week,” McIlroy said.

“I knew that I needed to get off the fast start just to let the boys see some blue on the board.
“I was really up for today. I was probably more up for this day than I was the last two rounds of this year’s majors.”
Jordan Spieth did his part in getting American red on the board early against Graeme McDowell. He raced to a three-hole lead after five holes, but let it slip to lose 2 and 1.
“We talked last night in the team room, even if you are three or four down, just try and win the next hole because it sends a message to your teammates,” said McDowell. 
“I just tried to win the next hole over the front nine.”
McDowell’s point took Europe to 12 points. Reed gave the Americans hope when he defeated Henrik Stenson on the 18th green, 1 up, to take the U.S. to seven points. However, it was too little too late.
Martin Kaymer made it 13 points with a 4-and-2 win over Masters winner Bubba Watson. 
Kaymer ended in style, chipping in for eagle at the 16th green.
Mickelson defeated home favourite Stephen Gallacher by two holes, before Matt Kuchar won 4 and 3 over Thomas Bjorn to take the U.S. to nine points.
Hunter Mahan suffered the chipping nightmare of Celtic Manor when he bladed a chip over the 18th green to hand the hole to Justin Rose and halve his match. That made it 13.5-9.5 for Europe.
The fat lady was clearing her throat.
She started singing when rookie Jamie Donaldson went dormie after 14 against Keegan Bradley to guarantee Europe the 14 points needed to keep the Ryder Cup. 
The fat lady was in full voice when the Welshman closed out the match by stiffing a wedge shot to the 15th green for a 4-and-3 win, and start the chants of "Ole, ole" around Gleneagles.
Tom Watson talked about an evolution taking place at this Ryder Cup, which is why he put rookies Spieth and Reed out first to lead off his order. Fowler played number three to see the three young guys lead the American charge.
If there are any positives the U.S. can take from this match, then look no further than those three youngsters. 
 Watson was smart to put them out first. If you want fire in the belly, then they proved they have it in spades.
Especially Reed.
That’s for the future. Right now, the same old questions remain.



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