Monday, 4 October 2010

Victory for Europe - and Monty.

We did it!

As I write this, I'm watching highlights of today's singles matches. Having only been able to follow play via occasional glimpses of the BBC's live text feed, I'm looking forward to seeing the winning putt (or missed putt, to be precise) and celebrating a tremendous achievement by Europe's golfers.

The Ryder Cup is one of the world's greatest sporting events. It is also unique in that the nations of Europe come together to compete with the might of the US.

Golf is an individual game and, many would argue, also in some regards elitist. While Matchplay is, perhaps, less easy to explain to the uninitiated than Strokeplay, the Ryder Cup manages to reach out to those who are normally indifferent.

This year's event was no different - although the elements forced play into a fourth day for the first time ever and therefore reduced the audience for the singles matches. For all the disruptions caused by the weather, though, the final day was played in glorious sunshine.

As an advert for golf, the top-class competition didn't disappoint, with the session coming down to the final match. In the end Graeme McDowell held his nerve to beat Hunter Mahan and Europe won by the smallest margin they could have won by: 14.5 to 13.5.  It was a truly thrilling contest. That said, it would have been good, from a partisan point of view, if it hadn't been such a nail-biter!

Of course, as well as the players on the fairways, a large part of success or failure is the strategy adopted by the Team Captain, who is responsible for picking the pairings and the order his players go out in. Like a chess player, he has to try and second-guess his opponent. This year Colin Montgomerie rose to the challenge and became a winning captain. His victory is being tagged "Monty's Major" and will no doubt go a long way to compensating for the lack of a Major win in his illustrious career.

So Europe has regained the Ryder Cup...and the show is over for another two years... in the meantime, let's savour the victory and look forward to retaining it in Chicago!


While you're here, why not have a go at my quiz? I'm keeping entries open until Thursday, so you've only got a couple of days!

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