Europe Wins Ryder Cup; McDowell, Fowler Steal the Show
What a Ryder Cup. If only I could have seen it.
With today's Monday finale at Celtic Manor, the European team kept their home-field advantage streak alive (18 years now) by holding off an unbelievable American surge to win the 2010 Ryder Cup. Thanks to a 2-up final match win by US Open Graeme McDowell over Hunter Mahan, the Euros earned the necessary 14 1/2 points and started a celebration in Wales.
Mahan, who needed to win both the 17th and 18th holes to retain the Cup for the US, flubbed his tee shot on 17 prior to chunking a chip just moments later. On the 16th hole, however, McDowell sank an impressive 15-footer to go 2-up and give Mahan more pressure than most people could handle.
In an earlier match that ended just minutes before the 16th, the United States' rookie Rickie Fowler drained an incredible 20-foot birdie putt to halve his match after being down 3 holes with 3 to play. Cheers of pre-teen girls could be heard for miles. 'Rickie is my Homebody' t-shirts will be on the rise, and Justin Beiber will be sending hate mail to Fowler starting tomorrow.
It is important to point out that Hunter Mahan's pressure-buckling 17th hole didn't lose the Cup for the US. Neither did the weather, and neither did rainsuits. Despite a huge rush in Singles play, the Americans really dug their own grave in Session 3, losing most of their matches. Phil Mickelson should never be allowed to play in another team match in the Ryder Cup... period. He's terrible. He doesn't get along with others. This is why we don't have nice things. Even oft-beaten Tiger Woods played well in team play overall, and he hates the Ryder Cup.
All in all, the event was incredibly exciting. The Europeans did what they needed to do when they needed to do it. The final score really wasn't as close as it seems.