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Montgomerie plays captain's role to perfection

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Rob Hodgetts | 19:57 UK time, Monday, 4 October 2010

Colin Montgomerie vowed to leave "no stone unturned" in his quest to regain the Ryder Cup for Europe and in the end it proved just enough.

Monty's men got off to a start as dazzling as the newly discovered Welsh sunshine as the tournament that had threatened to become the dud in the mud moved into an unprecedented fourth day.

Europe raced into the lead in eight of the 12 singles matches early on, needing five points to seal the win.

But as they edged towards their target, a gritty American team put the party on hold and ramped up the tension.

Montgomerie was meticulous in every part of his planning and the positioning of Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion, in the singles anchor role was no accident. It was the last piece of Montgomerie's jigsaw and it illustrated the big picture.

When America's 21-year-old superstar Rickie Fowler birdied the last four holes to scrape a half against Edoardo Molinari, it meant the match would come down to the last group.

McDowell was one up against Hunter Mahan with three to play and needed to win his match - with the score tied at 13.5-13.5, a half would have given the Cup back to the USA.

montygmac595.jpgMontgomerie used US Open champion McDowell as his trump card. Photo: Getty Images

And the Northern Irishman drew on the experience he gained in the pressure cooker of the back nine at Pebble Beach when he held off the world's best to win his first major in June.

McDowell won the 16th with a brave birdie and held his nerve on the short 17th as the world of golf watched with bated breath. McDowell flirted with the bunker, Mahan drove short. But the American fluffed his chip, McDowell chipped on to a few feet and Mahan stuck out his hand.

As one, the European team mobbed the green to kick-start the festivities and bring to an end to one of the greatest of Ryder Cup days.

"I can safely say I've never felt that nervous on a golf course in my life," said McDowell. "It's another stratosphere compared to Pebble Beach." (Westwood revealed later McDowell had told him he could barely hold his club).

Montgomerie claimed the victory was entirely due to his players, arguing he hadn't hit a shot.

And the whole team played a part, with everyone chipping in at least half a point, as Luke Donald and Ian Poulter gained three points out of four to top-score for Europe.

But McDowell was quick to pay tribute to his captain, who was Europe's talisman as a player and is now one its finest captains.

"He was amazing. He's everything that is the Ryder Cup and to be able to do that for him was very special," said McDowell.

Some of the tactics of captaincy - the art of who to play and who to leave out in each session - were removed by the re-formatting of the competition due to bad weather.

But the pairings still had to be right and the inspiration and the message hammered home.

It was Montgomerie's "rocket" on Saturday afternoon that changed the complexion of the match. The USA had enjoyed a good morning session and led 6-4 but Europe hit back to head all six matches on course overnight.

But it was Sunday's resumption that really laid the foundations for victory as Europe went on to win five and a half points out of six to lead 9.5-6.5 going into the singles.

"That session was our demise," said American Jim Furyk.

Montgomerie surrounded himself by experienced Ryder Cup men as vice-captains to share the load and act as sounding boards.

The choice of first three, then four and then five assistants - he finally drafted in Jose Maria Olazabal from his corporate role - was in stark contrast to Nick Faldo's choice of just one in the doomed Valhalla venture in 2008. And the team they created was harmonious, energetic and passionate.

The brains trust agreed on the all-important singles order and the plan came off, precisely. Almost too precisely as it turned out. This was a time when sprinkling the strength through the team worked, though Montgomerie was at pains to say they were all strong. But hindsight dictates that singles orders are always right when you win, wrong when you lose.

A captain can do nothing without the players, but a good captain is also a lucky captain. Pavin did little wrong and missed out on keeping the Cup by half a point.

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Forget the omission of Stewart Cink in the opening ceremony, or the ridiculous criticism of his use of F16 pilot Major Dan Rooney for motivational purposes. Pavin, who also had a strong back-room team, was as understated as Montgomerie was larger-than-life, but no less a captain for it.

The fact that his team fought to the last is proof. His choice of Mahan, the top-scorer two years ago, as anchorman was as carefully plotted as Montgomerie's choice of McDowell. Fowler, who was playing in the amateur Walker Cup last year, as a wildcard was also an inspiration.

The Americans in the past have been accused of not caring about the Ryder Cup. But the 12 players, plus, Pavin, were devastated in their news conference afterwards.

Mahan broke down in tears and Mickelson deflected further questions from him.

"I've never been as happy as after winning [the Ryder Cup] and I've never cried after losing in anything else," said Furyk. "I'm glad maybe finally you [the media] have all figured it out."

The build-up, the "phoney war", was filled with the twists and turns of Rory McIlroygate, after the 21-year-old had the temerity to suggest he might fancy playing world number one Tiger Woods. He didn't get his wish, but grew again as a player. McIlroy's past comments likening the Ryder Cup an "exhibition" also came back to haunt him. Afterwards, though, he insisted: "I truly believe that this is the best competition in the world."

Montgomerie took flak over his choice of Padraig Harrington as a wildcard. The Irishman won two points out of four matches, but Montgomerie claimed he was invaluable to his team. "There is method to this," said the Scot.

Pavin, meanwhile, was quizzed constantly over the form of Woods and Phil Mickelson, the world's top two players for some time, but a somewhat misfiring presence at Celtic Manor.

But Woods ended as joint top-scorer, largely due to his partnership with the equally successful Steve Stricker. And he clinically snuffed out the hopes of Francesco Molinari with a 4&3 victory in the singles. Mickelson gained the dubious honour of becoming the most defeated player in US Ryder Cup history, but he beat Peter Hanson convincingly to keep America's dream alive.

Wales' big show, which cost Celtic Manor owner Sir Terry Matthews about £150m to put on, was marred by the weather and very nearly curtailed because of it. Thankfully, the integrity of the competition remained intact with all 28 matches played to a conclusion.

But the scheduling will have to be reviewed in years to come. It can rain at any time, but October in the UK is asking for it.

Celtic Manor, though, will always be remembered as Monty's Manor (he's already got his name on a course here).

He crafted a victory against a powerful American team and then vowed this would be his one and only shot at the job.

Harrington said: "We wanted to guarantee his captaincy did his playing career justice."

Pavin also shed a tear as he saw his two-year dream die. He, too, is unlikely to be back at Medinah in 2012.

"Each of my guys played their hearts out. But you guys [Europe] played better than us. Just by a little bit," he said at the closing ceremony.

But it's the little bits that count, and that's where Montgomerie probably had the edge.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    and thanks for the great blogs Rob. Four amazing days.

  • Comment number 2.

    As always the Ryder Cup never fails to deliver supreme sporting action and pure passion in people.

    So pleased for Monty - It would of been a nasty blot on his copybook if he had not been a victorious captain

    G-Mac for Sports Personality of the Year..?

  • Comment number 3.

    I was nervous just watching that finish this afternoon, quite amazing golf and all coming down to the last match keeping everyone glued to what was going on. Well done to the people who got to watch as well great atmosphere today from the jokes on the first tee to the support on the 17th. Golf and sport are the winners today.

  • Comment number 4.

    Well, I guess if folks like a bit of rain and a bit of sun to create a magical atmosphere, perhaps they should take the Ryder Cup back to Northern Ireland sometime, eh?

  • Comment number 5.

    Great Ryder Cup eventually... i don't think we should forget the part that the U.S. played in all the drama, both singles against the Molinari's involved collassol performances from Fowler, and what looked like the Tiger we all know.

    Brilliant bit of captaincy to have the Welsh Open champ (which was at Celtic Manor) anchor home the team regardless of who the U.S. picked.

    Man of the tournament is hard to call, i loved every minute that Poulter was on the screen, he was pumped for that event.

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree with the posted comments, a great Ryder Cup and a great advertisement for golf. No doubt in my mind the key man .... Monty, his passion for beating the USA is legendary as is his knowledge of the game. No better choice to call the shots. I'm delighted for him and the team.

  • Comment number 7.

    Good job, Rob.
    But remember, October is bad for diminshing daylight as well as weather stereotypes. And that doesn't just affect Europe. Minneapolis won't give much wriggle room in 2016 any more than Gleneagles does.

  • Comment number 8.

    Wonderful stuff. Just a footnote here from a genuine European (Englishman resident in Denmark): The tears in my eyes came when Jimenez (a real hero!) was seen to sing along with the "Ode to Joy" Euro-anthem. Now that is real class!

  • Comment number 9.

    Interesting analysis. Can't help but think that the role of Captain is hugely overemphasised in this tournament. Yes, you plan, yes you leave no stone unturned but ultimately its truly all down to the 12 players to go out there and deliver. The dividing line between success and failure today was unbelievably thin and Monty has found himself as a hero rather than a zero because of it. Selection of Harrington ahead of Casey remains highly questionnable in my view but that is all forgotten in light of a victory and strangely seems even justified because of it. The focus should rightly be on the 12 players on each side going out there and producing unbelievable golf in the face of pressure that would be enough to break most mere mortals ( let alone the elements). A fantastic competition , the best that golf (and even sport?) has to offer.

  • Comment number 10.

    Monty got a bit lucky to win the Ryder Cup. His team lost 3 out of the 4 sessions, i doubt losing the singles 7-5 was part of his masterplan. McDowell is the US Open champion, so playing him as anchorman was an obvious choice. Monty's wild card choice Harrington had a poor cup, Donald and Fisher carried him for large parts, and he was well beaten in the singles. I know he walked away with 2 points, but that flattered him hugely. Monty clearly cares a great deal about the Ryder Cup, i would have liked to see him carry on as captain and try to win it in America. Winning it on home soil is one thing, to win it over there is far harder.

  • Comment number 11.

    What a couple of days of golf. Absolutely brilliant. I know the organisers have taken some stick because of the timing, but it was fantastic. Great result and I am so pleased for Monty too. What a way to end his Ryder Cup career. I thought Westwood was immense and Donald and Fisher were top notch too.

    I thought the Americans played really well. I hope their press doesn't give them a hard time. Fowler and Overton played superb.

    Great advertisement for Golf.

  • Comment number 12.

    Sports Personality Team of the Year surely...

  • Comment number 13.

    Powerslave666
    So you think Monty was lucky to win the Ryder Cup but tell us all what team no matter the sport wins without getting the break? You have been on several boards criticising the team Monty and some of the players. Why don`t you just come out and say you don`t like Monty and theres an end to it.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think it did the Ryder Cup a shot in the arm that this one also went close, the past 3 have been over halfway through the singles.

    Monty did make mistakes during his captaincy. Early on, he appeared to make announcements to the press without asking those involved in the assumption they'd say yes, one worried that in recent days his willingness to talk would lead to him giving too much away etc. and as always, wild cards, grouping and singles orders create much debate amongst the fans.

    Those of us that think it should have been Casey or Rose over Harrington, Molinari or Donald can always live with the assumption that our choice would have been better. Monty's choices were put to the test and he gets a definitive result.

    In the end though, against a very solid American team, he has done what he was "employed" to do, and whilst he was lucky, inspired, genius or idiot, he managed to get there and that's ultimately what counts.

    Maybe, just maybe, we can live with the hope, that it will give him a third, fourth wind, and inspire him to one last great week in Sandwich next year.

  • Comment number 15.

    @Pavlovs Dogs
    I was there - we sang 'We love you Monty' and we meant it. He was brilliant, the team was brilliant under immense pressure.

    You can lay off Monty and go do the other thing.

  • Comment number 16.

    1Wattie
    A wolf in Sheeps clothing.

  • Comment number 17.

    Powerslave666 (#10) - I know what you mean but if you watch a lot of golf or even play it then you soon realise that there is no such thing as luck really. It is a game of inches and you have to take the rough with the smooth. If your drive hits a sprinkler and goes OB, or you hit a tree and go in the hole then that may be luck. but lip-outs and clippig a branch and near misses are not luck. Had the US won then you could say that they were lucky too. Over the 28 matches there were dozens of 'what if' moments (as there always are), and had one of them gone the other way then it could have been a 14-14 tie or even a defeat. Look at the last 2 holes of the Cink-McIlroy match. On 17, Cink's tee shot was a fraction from disaster - a poor shot really - but it kicks on and gives him a 6 footer. Good break. Then he misses the putt by an inch. Bad break. Then on 18 McIlroy leaves it in the bunker but gets it up & down, whilst Cink misses by fractions again. But for a matter of inches in those 2 holes alone, the match score could have been a tie or a 1 pt defeat rather than a win.
    I agree that there is a bit of 'hero or zero' to the captaincy. I feel slightly sorry for Faldo who has been criticised as a bad captain. His team were not that far off winning last time really, yet he is cast as a poor captain. Monty's team wins by the skin of their teeth and he is a hero. Rightly so, but it's still a bit harsh on Faldo.
    Another one to file under 'ifs and buts' is the choice of Harrington as a wildcard. He was OK in the middle but poor otherwise. We can all speculate, but I think Casey would almost definitely been better. He had better form going in - Harrington had no form and it showed.
    I also think that Pavin behaved well as captain. Too many US captains (notably Azinger, Stockton and Crenshaw) have encouraged incitement of the crowd. I don't think there is a placec for that in golf. It's tantamount to saying 'we can't win fair and square so let's use gamesmanship'. Young players like Kim (but also older ones like Lehman / Suton in 99 and Weekley last time) took it too far and incited the crowd too much. I didn't like the way Fisher (to name but one) did this geeing up of the crowd and think Monty should have clamped down on it. For me it isn't 'part of the game'. Look at how humble Jiminez was, but he still brought home the bacon. Perhaps Pavin was more subdued because it was an away game.
    But overall let's celebrate a great win and a very exciting event.

  • Comment number 18.

    #15 RuariJm - hey great, jealous as hell and had I been there, i would have been singing the same. Not criticising Monty just commenting that the role of captain is both over emphasised and over analysed. Things said and calls made are "inspired" in victory and "flawed" in defeat. "Doing it for Monty" was undoubtedly a motivational factor that would never have been there for Faldo and , if that's what did it, it works for me! The main thing I come away with is that there is something about the notion of "team" that works for us more than it ever does in American sport. Call it synergy (1+1 = 3) or whatever you like but I just think that their whole ethos of sport is so built on individualism that there is something they can't quite call on like we do when it comes to a team game. Ask Holloway and Blackpool, he'll tell you what it is.....

    Well done one and all, a fantatsic achievement.

  • Comment number 19.

    Lets just be thankful that Dustin and Phil only remembered how to play golf on the Last Day.

    Nice to see Tiger Woods getting back to his best, next year will be a great PGA Season if that is the case, i do wonder where the European Tour would be if it didn't have the Ryder Cup to force some top european golfers to play.

    Still think Harrington was a awful pick, carried by his teammates, on Day 1 Donald single handed kept that match going for as long as he did, and from what i saw of Fisher even thou Harrington was lining up the puts, he pretty much won that match by himself.

    But we won so who cares, glad it was close, and not a runaway like the previous 3 that 1/2 way though the singles you could turn it off because it was over.

    Maybe a change in the format is also Due, it was nice to see all 12 players from each side out on the golf course at the same time.

    Maybe its time for 12 FourBalls, 12 Foursomes & 12 Singles spread over the 3 days, same amount of Golf for the Westwoods that would normally play all 5 Games anyway.

  • Comment number 20.

    I've never watched golf before, I won't forget this day for the rest of my life. Just want to say two things, thanks Europe and thanks guys for what you have shown us today.

  • Comment number 21.

    Monty deserves hearty congratulations for this magnificent success as do the 12 players all of whom played a part. It is also a fine addition to an incompatible record of success on the European tour (8 times European tour No. 1)
    Would it be too much to wish him a place on the team in two years time?

  • Comment number 22.

    Another fantastic Ryder Cup. This team concept seems to bring out the passion and joy as well as despair. I never gave Europe much chance as on paper America was so much stronger but we must never forget Europe`s wonderful sense of team spirit which is unmatched by America. That it came down to the last match was a heart stopper but who better than Ulsterman McDowell to bring it home. Monty has had a wonderful, if controversal career, and he did deserve at least one major but this win along with his Ryder Cup record says it all. Interesting that Faldo could never get the same passion and support from the his Ryder Cup team as Monty has.

  • Comment number 23.

    Great weekend if golf. Monty was a great captain with a massive set. I was glad to see Tiger produce his best after the flack he's had this year. He played shot of th tournament with that 180 yd approach shot today. Harrington was a dubious choice. Always thought he would choke.... G Mac was incredible. Pity about the welsh weather but the final afternoon made it all worthwhile.
    Sports Personality team of the year without a doubt.!
    And my bet came in!
    Swollen!! X

  • Comment number 24.

    Great Ryder Cup. Monty a very good captain in that he did decent speeches and media work, and he fostered a positive team spirit; this latter (the team spirit point) is all a captain can do, really, as regards impacting the actual result. In general, the effect of the captain (on the result) is way overstated. Captains can mess it up by spoiling the mood (as Faldo did) but other than this, their impact is marginal. Monty didn't mess up. Having said that, with the better individual players, we lost 3 out of 4 sessions, just scraped in on home soil (with all the advantages which flow from that). So no big "Monty Effect". Neutral at best, compared to Pavin who really DID get his guys playing. Looking at the detail, and very ironically, the only unbeaten man in the event (Stewart Cink) - who played superbly throughout, the man of the tournament in many ways - it was Cink who lost the cup for the US. Missed very short putts at both 15 and 17 against McIlroy. If he'd holed either one, the cup would right now be with Pavin on its way back to America. But he didn't, and it isn't. Great Ryder Cup, that's the main thing. Meant the world to Monty - was obvious - and I'm pleased for him. He deserves it.

  • Comment number 25.

    As a golf enthusiast from America, I cannot express the delight I had from watching another marvelous Ryder Cup, even with my team on the short end. I am extraordinarily proud how the Americans did not fold in the presence of adversity. Mr. Pavin has always been synonymous with great class, and his captaincy showed why. Unlike some other captains, he handled himself with grace. The rookies played exceptionally well, and give us great promise in the future. I feel terrible for Hunter Mahan. The Europeans were superb, as advertised. Hats off to Monty and his team for the hard-fought victory. I am a huge Miguel Angel-Jiminez fan (I don't know what it is about the bloke precisely but he never fails to induce a smile on my face). Graeme was brilliant in the end, and I have great appreciation for watching the Europeans play in the team events. Their synergy should be an inspiration to golfers around the globe. This is becoming my favorite golf event. Another terrific year, and I anxiously await to 2012.

    Both teams have some very promising young golfers that assure we have many more such memorable events that lie ahead for some time.

    Cheers from across the pond.

  • Comment number 26.

    Firstly I must say congratulations to the Ryder Cup team it was at the end of the day and awsome performance. Can't wait until 2012.

    Really enjoyed the Ryder Cup with you guy's and the 606 blog. I don't have Sky but your updates described the action so well it didn't really matter at the end of the day. Thanks a million.

  • Comment number 27.

    P.S for anyone who reads this and contributes to 606 - my owner really enjoyed herself and said it was purrfect.

  • Comment number 28.

    I've not read everything on this page and I maybe repeating another post (as I am sure I'm not alone thinking this) but I just wanted to say that Monty should have picked a form player instead of Harrington. He was carried by the partners over the first couple of days and the looked every part the player struggling with his game when he was left to fend for himself. Casey should have gone. Paddy will probably be worse for this tournament and Monty has escaped a public lynching as we still managed the win.
    That said, It's a still one of the best Ryder cups I've ever watched.

  • Comment number 29.

    Highlight for me was the insane whoopin' and hollerin' from Overton and Watson when Overton made eagle. It was possibly the funniest fist-pumping outburst that I have ever seen. Of course it wouldn't seem quite so funny if the USA had gone on to win.

  • Comment number 30.

    Its a wafer.

    I am neither a golfer nor a fan. Just a random follower with casual interest.

    When the Americans were leading I just read a day later that Monty was able to raise his teams' fighting spirit (Monty rocket inspires Europe or something like that). There is an aura about Monty's captaincy in the Ryder Cup.

    I vaguely remember from earlier years he has performed as a player as well.

    Well done Monty..er and Europe.

  • Comment number 31.

    I thought the weather-induced format was much better than the traditional one. The value of picking players and not using them until the singles, so that some team members play five times and others only once, is greatly overrated in my view.

  • Comment number 32.

    funny how the ryder cup is the only time the British are proud to be Europeans. Maybe they can learn.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think the Captaincy is hugely important and for Montgomerie to call it his "greatest moment" shows the effort that he put into it. Monty is no stranger to hard work, you don't stay European No1. for 8 years by luck.

    The Ryder Cup is Monty's major...nobody can deny him his moment...like him or loath him, he is and always will be a Ryder Cup legend.

    Too many incredible moments to comment on.....Poulter was a giant today and very proud of all the Irish boys even Paddy.....maybe they put him in charge of the after party so that he could pull his weight somehow?

  • Comment number 34.

    Although I would like to see Monty continue as captain, I think there are special circumstances when it comes to captaining in the US. I think the crowds there have such a history with him that this would surely get brought up and he could become a focal point of American boo boys. Shame really. I have a strange feeling we could see Jiminez as a captain one day, strolling around the course with a cigar the size of a tree trunk!

  • Comment number 35.

    Well done Europe! Well done Monty; As always - I like your style! Top man and deserves all the accolades offered for the his Fieldmarshalling!

  • Comment number 36.

    L A Odicean wrote [29]:

    "Highlight for me was the insane whoopin' and hollerin' from Overton and Watson when Overton made eagle. It was possibly the funniest fist-pumping outburst that I have ever seen."

    Yes, it was a delicious comedic treat. One wonders if these chaps are aware how ludicrous a spectacle they present? Good sportsmanship though - enjoying themselves even though they're losers. That's nice to see!

  • Comment number 37.

    What a great event. Still in tears reading through this morning. Ian Poulter the star man for me!

  • Comment number 38.

    congratulations to the Ryder Cup team, history was made. bbc sport, what happened to the highlights. dont understand why u peeps that ahve sky even add to this blog.

  • Comment number 39.

    G_K___ wrote:

    "Highlight for me was the insane whoopin' and hollerin' from Overton and Watson when Overton made eagle. It was possibly the funniest fist-pumping outburst that I have ever seen."

    'Yes, it was a delicious comedic treat. One wonders if these chaps are aware how ludicrous a spectacle they present? Good sportsmanship though - enjoying themselves even though they're losers. That's nice to see!'

    Overton was brilliant all week, he was carrying Bubba Watson who was dreadful in the team play, and came back to win from being two down against Fisher. He was fun to watch, and has nothing to be ashamed of in my book. If I sunk a 150 yard 9-iron as a rookie in Ryder Cup play I'd be hollering too.

  • Comment number 40.

    Thoroughly enjoyed your blogs all week Rob - good job - your blog on the opening morning of play was incredibly atmospheric and put us all right there in the moment.

    Great 4 days of drama - congratulations to Monty and his men, but the troops (fans) deserve special mention - their chants and good humour were very amusing all tournament!

  • Comment number 41.

    #22 What makes you believe that the US team was better on paper than the European team? The world rankings tell a different picture. The average ranking for Europe was (slightly) better than the US.

  • Comment number 42.

    Well done team Europe!! What a Ryder cup, could barely get any more nerve jangling! Well done Monty, always nice to see a boy from Troon lift the Ryder Cup - and to all those slating his choice of Harrington over Casey, a) Europe won and therefore doesnt matter now and b) Casey wasnt even the next choice, Justin Rose was on standby! Paul Casey was such a team Europe man that he went bmx'ing in the Rockies!

  • Comment number 43.

    One thing to add is that there was a great sense of sportsmanship this year between the two teams. And especially great to see the passion and huge disappointment shown at the end by Hunter Mahan and the US team during the press conference. I think we are now seeing that both sides have the some love and drive for the competition

  • Comment number 44.

    By far the most nerve-racking finale to a sporting event i have ever seen on television. How they managed to swing the club underthat pressure is beyond me.

    A question - is this the first Ryder Cup ever that every player on both teams has scored at least 1/2 a point?

  • Comment number 45.

    I have to say, I think the way Harrington guided Fisher through the paired stages justified his selection. It's not all about the singles.

  • Comment number 46.

    The highlights last night were almost are tense as the real thing, what an amazing event. Even my wife got into it!

    Personally, can't see that either captain did much wrong. The teams were so evenly matched, the quality of the golf was astonishing, and it really was a case of a couple of shots here or there which tipped it Europe's way.

    Had Europe lost, the decision to leave out Casey - 9th best player in the world and a great match-play golfer - would have lived with Monty. The decision Pavin is surely ruing is the Mickelson/Johnson pairing, that didn't work in the opening fourballs and in hindsight he probably needed to change that straight away. But aside from that, hard to point to anything that he might have done differently to change the course of events.

  • Comment number 47.

    As always great fun even if I couldnt see it without Sky. Loved the sound of all these English supporters shouting "Europe, Europe". Difficult to imagine any other circumstances in which you would get that!
    As for Monty, dont forget he also chose Molinari as wild card which was bizarre in the extreme and totally unsuccessful!

  • Comment number 48.

    Fantastic drama and sport - great credit to both teams for providing the spectical that we all craved.

    9 out of 10 for Monty's captaincy but I still have not met one person who would have picked Harrington over Casey. That stops him getting 10 out of 10. The bigger issue though is the qualifying system that forced Monty to discard two of Casey, Rose and Harrington. I dont buy the loyalty to the European Tour argument, winning was everything to the players and fans and we must have a system that will put the best team out and give us the best chance of winning. I hope that in this euphoric situation we dont forget to critically review a system that somehow didnt make the no8 player in the world an automatic pick!

  • Comment number 49.

    A brilliant Ryder Cup and a well deserved victory for Monty's men, although it could so easily have been tied, had Cink holed either of two fairly short puts over the last 4 holes. The quality of sportsmanship from both sides was good throughout and the spirit of the Ryder Cup lives on, I believe. I think, however, it is very bad form when players openly incite the gallery to 'up the volume' (Ross Fisher amongst others). This lacks courtesy and just isn't golf. I hope future Captains try to stop this behaviour on both sides.

  • Comment number 50.

    I take issue with any critisism of Casey for taking himself away for this week - how would you feel if you were no 8 in the world, just come in the top ten of the PGA Tour championship and hadnt been selected? It must hurt like hell and he has handled it with a great deal of dignity.

    To want to take a break and not be involved is totally natural in these circumstances!

  • Comment number 51.

    Stop the talking about Casey/Rose over Harrington - Monty was chosen to pick a winning side, and he did it!! I am so drained from all the emotion I can't imagine how the players feel!

    Favourite part - Poulter promising the point and then delivering!! Someone should check his birth certificate because I cannot believe he's British - it's just not how we roll!!

  • Comment number 52.

    Just a shame last night's BBC coverage was so poor.

  • Comment number 53.

    To #25. RamblinWreck and all the other USA supporters. Good to see you contributing despite the loss.

    What makes the Ryder Cup so great for Europe is that the opposition is so good and they never give up. Stunning performances by both sides. It was great to see the way the the US roared back when their backs were against the wall, well played to everybody. The behaviour of Corey Pavin and his team was immaculate. I thought some of the European fist pumping was OTT and I was not impressed when the crowd cheered when a USA ball ended up in the sand etc, but I have seen worse. All in all an excellent contest and I am delighted that Europe won, it makes 2012 all the more exciting. I imagine Ricky Fowler will be in the top 3 of the world by then.

  • Comment number 54.

    For all those calling Monty's wildcard picks the wrong choices, Luke Donald was a inspiration and although Harrington was far from his best along with Fisher picked up two crucial points. Given how well the American team played with every point having to be won due to superb golf this was a remarkable effort from the European team. America played great golf in all sessions and were very close to retaining the cup but in that third session Europe were a step above great they were special and its doubtfull it will ever be repeated. The American team have showed great sportsmanship in defeat and should be proud of how they performed both on and off the course and it was great to see Cink and Stricker rallying around there unfortunate teammate Mahan.

  • Comment number 55.

    Struggling to find some cynicism here after yesterdays rollercoaster, but:

    Presumably it will be "Lord Monty" next. He'll be able to sit next to Prescott in the Lords.

    I'm not a Mrs Doubtfire fan, but have to say he handled himself well....only blot was the failure of the 'unbeatable' Molinari pairing.

    As for a Scot leading a European team in Wales, I suppose an Englishman is meant to feel proud....

  • Comment number 56.

    As I saw it, both captains played a flawless hand. But here is the important point, what if they hadn't? What if Monty or Coreys's pairings were poorly thought through; their preparation under-cooked; the backroom team inappropriate; the timing of visiting players during their games misplaced etc? I suspect the result would have been different. And in a match so close, it was (captaincy-related) mistakes that were NOT made that lead to the match being decided by a putt here and there.

    So contrast Valhalla. You can point to USA playing better but the elephant in the room had to be Faldo's captaincy. He made so many crass decisions that an essentially 60/40 in Europe's favour was, by the end, loaded 60/40 in USAs favour.

    In the Ryder Cup, the margins are so fine that eeking out edges are potentially crucial. Monty and Corey squeezed everything they could out of their (potential) influence. I thought both were simply outstanding. We should thank them for setting up what was one of the fairest, well-mannered and yet intense Ryder Cups there has ever been.

  • Comment number 57.

    #38 why do you think Sky subscribers shouldn't be contributing to this thread?

  • Comment number 58.

    This Ryder Cup was like a Gladiatorial Battle of great golfers. Both sides can be proud of their efforts and both teams were responsible for making this one of the best Ryder Cup competitions for years.

    Coverage online and on BBC radio was excellent, so a big thanks to all involved. It cannot have been easy to continue transmission beyond the allotted planned times.

    As for Monty, he was a great captain. He did more than just inspire. He sorted out the strategies, ensured that his team were ready and looked after all the background planning with his small team. This all allowed his players the best environment possible to approach the games without worries or issues to distract them.

    Corey Pavin has never been a favourite of mine following Kiwah Island, but this Ryder Cup has put that to bed. He was an excellent captain, gracious in defeat and magnanimous throughout. If ever proof were needed how important this cup is to the USA Team, their press conference afterwards showed it. No longer will I question their passion for the Ryder cup. They were devestated to lose it and it showed for the world to see.

    I look forward to Chicago in 2012 and hope that the wonderful foresight of Samuel Ryder will continue to provide amazing spectacles in years to come, such as we witnessed this week.

  • Comment number 59.

    #10 Poweslave666 - How much sport do you watch. Monty got no more lucky than any other team that wins a contest by a narrow margin. Any sporting occassion will generate its fair share of 'what ifs'. You criticised Monty's selection of Harrington, but one could easily respond with a 'what if' Casey had been picked and not helped to garner the two points that Harrington played a part in.

    The bottom line is that the final result does justify the selection. Monty picked a team to win the RC and they duly did so.

    And to others who have suggested that the captain is not that important in the broader scheme of things, just think for a moment about what it takes to create a team out of men who are used to playing solely for themselves. We saw over the four days how much of the game is played in the mind, and the captain has to create an environment - create relationships even - that enables the players to feel comfortable, accountable to each other without being beholden to each other and confident enough in their place in the team to take risks when the situation demand it. Then there are the tactical decisions as well, choosing pairs, choosing orders, course preparation.

    If none of this convinces you, just listen to the players.

  • Comment number 60.

    @ boikey #17 and anyone else who crticises Harrington

    I dont get how you can say Harrington was poor. Yes overall he didnt contribute as many points as others but when he played with Fisher, the rookie, he played so much better and also Fisher played tremendously as a result of playing with Harrington. If you watched you would have seen Harrington helping Fisher line up all his putts and as a reslut he drained putts from all over the shop. I dont think choosing Casey would have benefited the team any more than having Harrington on the team.

  • Comment number 61.

    Well done to Europe for winning. That was genuinely exciting.

    The importance of the captaincy is hugely overblown though and has been since the press decided to turn on Faldo two years ago, if it was such an important role surely it wouid be a bit more stringently selected than the end of career reward old boys list process that Montgomery so gracelessly jumped up two years ago.

    So yeah well done to the players.

  • Comment number 62.

    Powerslave666 wrote:
    Monty got a bit lucky to win the Ryder Cup. His team lost 3 out of the 4 sessions, i doubt losing the singles 7-5 was part of his masterplan. McDowell is the US Open champion, so playing him as anchorman was an obvious choice. Monty's wild card choice Harrington had a poor cup, Donald and Fisher carried him for large parts, and he was well beaten in the singles. I know he walked away with 2 points, but that flattered him hugely. Monty clearly cares a great deal about the Ryder Cup, i would have liked to see him carry on as captain and try to win it in America. Winning it on home soil is one thing, to win it over there is far harder.
    .......................................................................


    I think Monty got very lucky in winning the Ryder cup. As a Ryder cup player I believe he was exceptional, but as a captain he was very, very lucky. His picks were wrong with the exception of Donald, but it would have been difficult to get all three wrong. In match play and current form, Casey is right up there with Westwood and Harrington performed as expected apart from the practice rounds. Yes, he lined up the putts and steadied Fisher to the win, but really nothing off his own back. As for the brilliance of the McDowell positioning, it looked more like he transfered his nerves to Mahan than a polished performance, only to be verified by his own words. There are certain players that can handle match pressure and major winners who cannot. I am surprised that one so great at Ryder cup match play as Monty, could not recognise the important traits. It must of been some speech that Monty gave to win 5½-½, but you are just giving major plastic surgery to the lily to take that any further.

  • Comment number 63.

    I wonder if Rickie Fowler is cursing himself over that error in replacing the wrong ball when playing foursomes with Furyk. It cost them a point and potentially the Ryder cup in the end! Small margins

  • Comment number 64.

    'So contrast Valhalla. You can point to USA playing better but the elephant in the room had to be Faldo's captaincy. He made so many crass decisions that an essentially 60/40 in Europe's favour was, by the end, loaded 60/40 in USAs favour.'

    I wondered how long it would be before someone would have a dig at Nick Faldo, not long obviously. Europe lost at valhalla because our best players flopped and the USA (much like europe this time) had a vocal partizan crowd backing them up. Faldo to blame, partly but not wholly and the majority of players backed him and said 'blame us we didn't perform anywhere near well enough'. Faldo bashing is getting boring someday people might get tired of it.

  • Comment number 65.

    First of all cynicalyorkie2 needs to grow up.

    I'm surprised so many people think the role of the captain is so insignificant. So much of golf is played in the mind that, in my opinion, its vital to have all the preperations etc absolutely spot on. Monty seemed to manage that with great success. The team ethos of the europeans was superb and you could see how important it was to each of them to win, not only for themselves and the European tour but for each other aswell.

    Having said that I thought the Americans were superb throughout and especially during the Singles when things really looked bleak. They showed great fighting sprirt to take it down to the last match and should be proud of their efforts.

    The Harrington pick was a mistake and should really have been Casey or even Rose but I understand Monty's arguement about his experience.

    Finally - I for one loved all the chanting and cheering by the crowd, especially the humerous songs etc and I think the Americans enjoyed it to. Oh and the fist pumping and hollering by Bubba and Overton was hilarious.

  • Comment number 66.

    Team golf is great, as perfectly demonstrated by the Ryder Cup. The USA plays a team event every year (Ryder alternating with Presidents), yet the EU and international teams only play every two years. Can you see where this is going? Time for a EU vs international match in the Ryder Cup off years. Name it after me, it was my idea. Cheers.

  • Comment number 67.

    I am almost as glad that the anti-Monty crowd will be sick to their stomachs today as I am that Europe won.

    There is no other man but Monty that would have pulled out a victory in this event. He may not be universally loved by all players, but I believe he is universally respected, and commanding respect is everything in leadership. It's why we won in 2010 and lost in 2008. And a great leader surrounds himself with other great leaders, and listens, and delegates, and empowers, and impassions, and takes the raps for the bad things that happen and deflects all the praise to others when there is victory. Again, reasons why we won in 2010 and lost in 2008. Monty is a case-study in passionate, reasoned, articulate leadership.

    All you non-entities who criticize Monty – this colossus of substance and achievement – can get back to your useless lives now and truly stick your bitter and twisted jealousies where the sun don't shine.

  • Comment number 68.

    I think Monty got some of his pairings wrong. It was probably a mistake to put the Molinaris together on their debut, although if Francesco could putt, they would have won both games 4&3 instead of only getting a half point.

    I also did not like the excessive crowd incitement from the European players, they were acting more like footballers than golfers. By all means enjoy the support, but there's no need for some of the grimacing, air punching etc that MacDowell, MacIlroy and to a lesser extent Poulter were doing. And there was too much cheering of bad US shots / breaks.

    Monty did a good job otherwise, and that would be true if they had narrowly lost. I've never been a big fan of his

  • Comment number 69.

    Imagine the slating Faldo would have got if his picks had been as poor as 2 of Monty's. His were Casey (didn't have his best Ryder Cup but would have been picked by pretty much everybody) & Poulter (widely criticised at the time but turned out to be arguably Europe's best player). Donald was a non-controversial pick & duly performed very well. The other 2 were at best mediocre & I have heard very few people argue we went into this Cup with the best available team. It so nearly went belly up & if it had Monty would have had to take a large slice of the blame because of his picks.

  • Comment number 70.

    Having witnessed the sad and heart wrenching breakdown of Hunter Mahan during the post match press conference it seems to me that the contest is having a detrimental effect on some of the players. It seems we have lost sight of the original concept of two competing nations coming together for an end of season game sharing friendship and camaraderie.

    I would like to propose a new format for future Ryder Cup matches. The 12 player teams remain the same (the best of Europe and the USA) but each team would be made up of 6 Americans and 6 Europeans, each player drawn randomly from a hat. The teams (A & B) then play the same format as currently but will be playing against fellow Europeans and Americans.

    Having teammates from Europe and the USA in each group would deliver the original goals of the matches and remove the aggressive partisan support that is evident from both USA and Europeans supporters and remove the ridiculous pressure on the players that the current format generates. This is not war it's sport!

  • Comment number 71.

    Great blog! Really enjoyed it - interesting look at the cup as an entity below!

    http://teestacklesandtons.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 72.

    How about both the USA and Europe for the team award in the Sports Personality of the Year. I've been following golf for a few years and I think that was one of the best Ryder Cups I can remember!

  • Comment number 73.

    60. scullybug:
    C'mon, read what you wrote again, especially the part

    "If you watched you would have seen Harrington helping Fisher line up all his putts and as a reslut he drained putts from all over the shop."

    So Harrington would make a good caddy then.

    If you check out the scoring, you'll see he won a hole once on his own ball, the others were won by either Donald, Fisher or the Americans bogeying the hole.

    In any kind of analysis, that's failure and justifying his pick by saying he lined up putts is scraping the barrell.

    Who knows if Casey or Rose would have been better, but for sure it would not have taken much to be so.

    Anyway, that's all irrelevant, bottom line, Europe won and all deserve the credit, just don't distort the facts.

  • Comment number 74.

    Great Ryder Cup. Let's hope the Americans can put on as good a show in Chicago. I do have my doubts. How about this; new rule, captains must play at least once during the event. Be it singles, or as part of a team.
    Thoughts?

  • Comment number 75.

    No59 Deep-Heat
    Any winning Ryder Cup team who loses 3 sessions out of 4, and wins just 4 out of 12 singles matches, have to look at that and think, 'How did we win that'. Monty to come out and say "Each player to a man played magnificent" is utter nonsense. Every man and his dog knows Harrington played rubbish, and Ed Molinari hardly excelled himself either. I'm not one for jumping on bandwagons, i dont plan to jump on the "We love Monty" one.

  • Comment number 76.

    Rod,
    Can i start by saying i enjoy your blogs very much. This one is a bit OTT though. In fact to be honest, its a complete load of nonsence.
    Basically, after a weekend of great golf, there was literally only one difference between the teams. Are we saying that had Rickie Fowler not conceded the 4th hole in Saturdays Foursomes by dropping the wrong ball in a match they halved then Monty's captaincy would have been a "disaster"??
    I'm a proud irishman, but it is clear to a blind man that Harrington was a major weak link. Not saying that Monty was wrong to pick him at the time but in hindsight it was the wrong decision.
    IMO, Pavin was the more impressive captain, but i really dont believe the Captain can influence the outcome of the Ryder Cup all that much anyway. It's about the players, full stop. Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan could play 100 times under that pressure and each might win 50 times. The fact that Graeme Mac won this time does not make Monty "perfect" nor does it say anything about Corey Pavin.

    Can we get a little perspective and objective comment on the golf and not a load of ridiculous hyperbole.

    Well done Europe!!

  • Comment number 77.

    RE #64

    I'm not Faldo-bashing for the sake of it, I genuinely believe the game is about edges and in IMO Faldo got some key decisions wrong @ Valhalla. As a 7-handicapper, I am constantly suprised at the fine margins between shooting a 75 and an 81. I can't even imagine how fine those margins are if I were scratch or better. I'm suggesting that good captains tip those edges in your favour and Monty (+ Corey) made good decisions about managing those margins. Faldo didn't.

    To put the comment in perspective, I'd say Seve's captaincy was flawed but he got away with it and so did Stockton (1991) and Crenshaw (1999). Azinger got it about right in 2008 and Langer was brilliant.

    Results can't be entirely down to captaincy but as factor that determines edges, well, I can't believe captaincy has no effect. IMO, unlike Seve, Stockton and Crenshaw, Faldo's team were eventually outplayed but at the same time, his captaincy didn't help.

  • Comment number 78.

  • Comment number 79.

    Was Monty brilliant, well yes and no. His picks apart from Donald NO, his performance during the cup YES.
    As a golfer myself but no where near these guys, I've always thought 20% of the season I play in a zone and strike the ball so well, 60% play OK without anything special, and 20% I'm rubbish, I'm afraid to say Harrington has been in the latter category for over a year now, there was no justification for his pick and was carried over the 1st 3 days.

    That leads me to the captain's pick system, it was there for a reason years ago to help Europe where they had players over in USA a lot and couldn't get enough European points. With the Majors and World Golf events and a ranking system is it necesary anymore, I don't think so and both teams should be picked solely from the world ranking list. Propping up the credibilty of the European tour is wrong and no longer required, players shouldn't be disadvantaged by playing elsewhere.

    Sadly, I think the captain's pick system exists for one reason only, TV namely Sky and the furore around it, If I was capatin I think I prefer to be without it and could quite rightly say win or lose, the best 12 europeans were picked.

    Anyway well done Europe and Monty and bad luck USA, you were a credit on and off the course.

  • Comment number 80.

    # 79 Agree with you on BOTH teams being picked from the World Rankings.
    Only 1-10 though. Each captain should have 2 picks though IMO to cover temp loss of form, a player really in form and a player coming back from injury that has slipped dowm the World Rankings.
    The way it is now, the Euros are trying to "protect the European Tour" whereas if both teams had the same way of picking their team, each Tour could stand on its own merits and you wouldn't have any of the nonsense talk about the "Fedex 5" etc..............

  • Comment number 81.

    What a great Ryder Cup, an advertisement for golf around the world.
    On paper I thought the Americans as a whole team were stonger, on paper I thought the European wild cards were weaker but the core could easily compete - So I was unsure of the result coming
    Despite some of the downplaying of the captains role I think Monty was a huge part of the win. Tactics and pairings aside I think he was a strong and motivating man, ideal for the job. Lets look at the critisism Faldo got last time, just or unjust it was based on tactics, pairings and his ability to create an atmosphere of team spirit.
    Now look at Monty,
    Tactics - Pretty much on the mark (wild cards aside but they didnt hurt the team too much, who knows if Casey or Rose for example would have done better)
    Pairings - I cannot fault them
    Team spirit - Top marks, not only creating the 'team' but having the team wanting to win for him as well as themselves. How much better could it be ?

    As for Pavin, I have huge respect for how he handled himself. Not the most charasmatic man in the world (in public anyway) but a big man in my opinion.
    He should be incredibly proud of the American team and if there was any doubt that they didnt care - then this should be well and truly buried in the press room archives now.
    Of course we feel sorry for Mahan, there is always someone that loses and is judged to have lost the cup for the team but there were 11 others out there and 2 or 3 that could have done better in my opinion.
    I am not a fan of Mickelson but he showed another side to himself the way he handled the press who were gunning for Mahan - Top Man for that.
    And yes, it is good to see Tiger getting back to form - it is good for golf to have him competing

    Anyway, as a Brit living in the USA, victory was even sweeter, especially after the knocks I took 2 years ago.

    Thank you Monty and the whole team
    And sincere appreciation to the USA team that played their part in making it a great Ryder Cup.
    Mid-West in October and the Scotland in October, spells disaster !!!

  • Comment number 82.

    I see your point 80, but surely a temp loss of form is irrelevant as it would take more that a temp loss to drop so far down the rankings. IMHO top 12 out of rankings is the best and a fairest way. I'm glad you have alluded to Euros protecting their tour, I think its no longer necessary and somewhat misguidingly partisan

  • Comment number 83.

    As usual there are a few brits still going on about Harrington's inclusion over Casey saying that Harrington's contribution amounted to reading putts for his partner. Could I just point out one small point that a few of you overlooked, Harrington won 2 points with Ross Fisher one of which was in Foursomes. I'm no expert but the last time I checked one partner was not allowed to hit all the shots. I followed the match at the course and I think Fisher and Harrington played within the rules (i.e. alternate shots)but maybe I got it wrong - maybe Harrington just read the putts.

  • Comment number 84.

    83 I'm not trying to crucify Harrington, my point is did he justify his inclusion prior to the Ryder Cup I think not, did his performance justify his inclusion I think not, did he equally cocntribute to the 2 points won, in my opinion I think not. Fisher only won 1 point yes, and frankly the wheels came off big time yesterday which worries me a bit for a player that I think could win a major. However, Fisher earned his place by merit, Harrington by a pick, the fact Fisher didn't play that well in a way is irrelevant he earned the right to be there.

    I think these differences of opinion strengthen my argument, scrap the picks, Monty and Harrington wouldn't be under the spotlight and if Padraig played poorly but earned the right to be there, people wouldn't bat an eyelid.

  • Comment number 85.

    One other small point which nobody picked up on yet was Pavin's decison to pair Woods and Stricker in the 3rd session foursomes rather than the fourballs. Woods even at his peak was never renowned as the straighest driver in the world and surely should have been put out in the fourballs where he could have done some serious damage. He showed yesterday what he can do when playing a full round on his own.

    I don't think Pavin could be criticised for pairing Johnson and Mickeslon - it just didn't work for him but it seemed a logical choice. Mickelson simply didn't show his best form until it was too late (from a USA perspective) - no doubt the BBC and Sky however will contrive to blame Woods for the loss though.

  • Comment number 86.

    #83
    Your right, it was on the foursomes game Harrington won one hole by sinking the putt on the 8th. The other holes won that day were Fisher holing the putt that Harrington had read for him, or when the American's had bogeyed.

    I was not there like you, I followed it online and the commentary fed to us went like this on the 'crucial' strokes in the 5 holes the pair won that day:

    Hole 3: Fisher for par, 12-foot putt for par, Europe win the hole
    Hole 4: Fisher now to win the hole, four foot putt goes in
    Hole 8: Birdie for Harrington there, that was perfect
    Hole 9: Birdie attempt from Harrinton, lips out. Similar from Mickelson, but his ball runs on and Johnson misses the next shot, Fisher wins the hole
    Hole 10: Fisher putting from Harrington's drive, and it's in. Europe win the hole

    So I stand corrected, he read putts 'and' sunk a putt.

  • Comment number 87.

    Here is a few others you may have missed (taken from the official website) and as you said, you weren't there - I saw it.

    Hole 2: Harrington now with third shot, and it's a beauty within 12
    hole 5: Harrington drops a huge shot inside 20 feet onto green
    Hole 8: Birdie for Harrington there, that was perfect
    Hole 9: USA concedes hole, lovely effort from Harrington just now
    Hole 10: Lovely start from Harrington, plants it on the green, 15 feet
    Hole 11: Harrington also holes, both side birdie
    Hole 16Harrington putts from ten feet for par, hole halved
    That means Europe win the match overall, point in the bag

  • Comment number 88.

    #87
    C'mon, your starting to look a bit desperate here.

    By any judgement, he was poor. I'm not saying this meant Rose/Casey should have been picked instead, I'm just focusing on what I say/read and that was he was poor and did not pull his weight in the matches.

    That's all

  • Comment number 89.

    John Cregan #76

    I am completely with you there mate. Its the same drivel that the journos knock out in football - instead of blaming the 11 players on the pitch who couldnt make 5 passes, blame it on the manager and his "lack of ability to motivate" or the "formation of the team", or even "boardroom unrest". Baloney!!

    What exactly did Monty do can someone please tell me?? Tactics??!?!?! What blimmin' tactics are there in making 6 partnerships - most of which were blatantly obvious before the ryder cup started - and doing a singles line up? I could have put those singles out.... he did exactly the same as Pavin did and the standard formula for ryder cup singles, you put your big boys out first, you try and hide your softer underbelly around the middle, with a few solid guys at the end in case it goes down to the wire.

    Add to this a few well timed shouts and encouragements and pleas that they play with passion - all very much "Duh!" worthy - and that was the extent of Monty's contribution. Pavin was every bit as good a captain as Monty.

    The PLAYERS won the ryder cup, they geed eachother up on the course, they hit the irons and made the putts....full stop.

    The sooner journalists stop making such a big deal about coaches, managers, boardrooms and tactics, the better. These elite level athletes dont perform based on what a manager has said or whether he gave them a friendly pat.... they execute the skills they have been training for years, irrespective of the "factors" journalists like to bring in to the equation in order to fill column inches.

    Well done Team Europe - and by that I mean the 12 players.

  • Comment number 90.

    OK - we'll agree to disagree. I think he was poor in his first and last matches and played well the 2 matches with Fisher. In the foursomes, they started with a double bogey yet recovered to be three under after 16. In foursomes golf that is a very high standard. It is impossible to score well in foursomes with one partner playing badly. The molinaris in their foursomes match were 3 over. Don't believe everything the media says - they have to sell newspapers. check the facts. But hey I don't think we are going to agree so I'll leave it there - I enjoyed the banter though :-)

  • Comment number 91.

    Spot on Teni, spot on. Europe won the cup Sunday afternoon because USA went AWOL, it was almost as if they couldn't quite believe they were leading. Although I orginally said Monty was brill I saw no evidence from either Captains that anything they did made the winning difference, the pairings form both could have been predicted by most people, although one person has commented that Tiger should have been in fourball not foursomes, which actually makes sense, so Pavin could be criticised for that.

    Perhaps I was getting a bit carried away, but well done to the teams anyway

  • Comment number 92.

    I'd like to put in a word for the seemingly forgotten man of the Europe team, Miguel Angel Jimenez. Just one or two posters here praising him, but I'd put him alongside Poulter as the tough guys who got going when the going got tough. Poulter's promise to win his match was never in doubt, while Jimi, alone of the Europeans, stepped on the gas after the turn and never took his foot off it.

    Donald was the best of the lot in the pairs games (even managed to carry Harrington for 16 holes) but slightly wobbled his way home in his single. These three together would be on my tournament rostrum for Europe.

  • Comment number 93.

    Yes actually all this harrington chat has made me realise, not only was Monty not the reason that we won the ryder cup, but in picking Harrington, almost cost us the Cup?

    Slightly inflammatory comment I know, and not meant overly seriously, but, Wildcard picks are an important part in deciding whether he was a great captain or not, and Harrington was a bad pick.

  • Comment number 94.

    I think another point everybody is missing regarding Harrington is that the two points he lost the Americans played excellent golf, they were not lost by Harrington due to poor play. Westwood who played fantastic, lost in the singles which just shows how difficult it was to win points. A Ryder Cup team can do no more than win the trophy and all players played a part with nobody pointless. I am pretty sure once the trophy was won not one player worried about who scored the most points. A tremendous battle from two fantastic teams with the crowd also playing there part in making it a great occasion. Imo as long as there is silence when players are playing shots and nobody intends on putting the opponents off there game then the passion and noise are fine. Pavin himself thanked the crowd and not one American golfer has hinted at foul play and have accepted the result as the great sportsmen they proved themselves to be.

  • Comment number 95.

    Those that belittle the role of Ryder Captain are by extension depreciating all leaders, be it golf, football or indeed any other undertaking. Managing to get the most from essentially individualistic sportsmen in a team environment must be require skills and experience very few possess. If you can't value a captain/manager it seems to me you have no experience or even concept of what it takes to win at a team sport.

    Was Monty's captaincy perfect? No but everyone makes mistakes to some degree. It is impossible to quantify any errors (captains picks?) when he delivered his objective. I personally would not have picked Harrington but I'm certain I would not have won the Ryder Cup.

    If people have issues with Monty as a person, try and have the good grace to put your animosity aside and congratulate the man and the team.

  • Comment number 96.

    I definitely do not have anything against Monty as a person, I am a big fan of european tour golf and (being from Europe) the Europe Team! As a result, Monty is a hero of mine, an absolute legend for Europe in the Ryder Cup!

    My post was more directed to the way that journalists cover the influence of coaches and managers relative to the teams they manage, often placing far too much importance on the manager's ability to actually INFLUENCE the result, especially once the match has started. This is evidenced by the fact that many of the modern day coaches - mourinho #1 example - go out of their way to get the attention of the press through words or actions, because it will lead the gullible press to hound the manager, thus taking attention from those who get the job done - the players.

    I never suggested that captains and leaders of teams in any walk of life are not very important. And to be honest, most leaders/captains do a great deal more than pick 3 wildcards, some pairings and a singles order....

  • Comment number 97.

    #93 Agree on that an i'm an irishman!
    I think Monty had his mind made up for a long time that Harri was going to be a pick if he didn't get in automatically. The pick was made to look all the more dubious when after the WC's were announced Harri's form dipped further and Caseys form improved.
    I don't think you can blame Monty for the pick at the same time, but it was (IN HINDSIGHT) the wrong call. Just as Donald was the RIGHT call.

    For a respected BBC journo to write an Article saying Monty was a "perfect" captain whereas Pavin made a lot of mistakes is just not backed up by reality. It was a one point win after all. When you say Monty was a genius for putting out McDowell last, shout we not say Monty made a grave error putting out Lee Westwood first.
    We should say neither.............

  • Comment number 98.

    I see the Molinari's have been widely criticized, yet who got a half a point on the final green when the fourballs finished on Sunday.

    Ed Molinari should've won his game, but give credit to Rickie Fowler, who got four birdies in the last four holes, and Francisco probably had one of the best scores yesterday of the team, but hit Tiger who was 6 under in the last 6 holes he played (both players hit 33 around the turn).

    I didn't want Harrington in the team, as his form over the last year has been poor, and it was proved.

    Regarding wildcards, I would keep it as it is, otherwise it devalues the European Tour, where people like Miguel Angel Jimenez plays in preference to the PGA Tour. At the end of the day, prior to qualifying, everybody knew the rules, and players like Casey and Rose knew the risks of chasing the dollar, when they could've played a few extra tournaments in Europe to make sure of qualifying. At least Luke Donald actually came over and played the Wales Open to give him experience of Celtic Manor, unlike his rivals for the wildcards.

  • Comment number 99.

    #97
    I agree if Monty's mistake was picking padraig, IMHO Pavin's was putting Woods out in foursomes and not fourballs.

    If I had picked singles Macdowell would have been last anyway and the order of captains seemed about right for both teams so I don't think cup was won or lost there. My only real change was I fancied Rory out first, just had a feeling more than anyone else he would have got crowd involved early and would have been inspired, but to be fair I think thats nitpicking.
    I do believe than even when USA went 6-4 up they didn't quite believe they could win and I think thats why they went a bit AWOL on Sunday. Like most USA teams they get to the singles and even from way back have this belief they can win, and suddenly about 12.00 Monday they really believed they can win. Its strange nearly every Ryder cup I've watched the Americans seem to have an aversion to the pairs but are a different proposition in singles, is it down to their mentality and the nature of golf as an individual sport? I wonder

  • Comment number 100.

    I have just had my first meeting with my Us colleagues of the week. Of course I mentioned the Ryder Cup, as anyone would to get a bit of friendly banter on the go. I was stunned by the reply. "The Europeans cheated by changing the format so they could get more points in the pairs matches". I laughed and said "good attempt at a wind-up". he said that it had been on the radio in New York and that it was an opinion held by many Americans.

    Just how did this country become a super-power?

 

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