Tag Archives: birdie

Rory McIlroy with Caroline Wozniacki at Singapore Open

Rory laps it up! McIlroy sitting pretty with Caroline as world No 1 finds form

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UPDATED:

12:58 GMT, 10 November 2012

World No 1 Rory McIlroy made early ground on leader Thomas Bjorn on the third day of the Barclays Singapore Open.

The Northern Irishman picked up two shots on the back nine to go to four under but that still left him five adrift of the Dane as play closed early for the day due to darkness.

It was again a mixed bag for McIlroy whose struggles of the first two days continued as he picked up four shots in all but also dropped two with a double-bogey six at the 444-yard sixth.

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy

Taking it easy: Rory McIlroy with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki as he looks to make progress in Singapore

Having picked up a shot at the par three second he then eagled the 586-yard fourth before throwing away what he had gained two holes later.

A double-bogey six on the sixth was followed by a birdie on the seventh as McIlroy went out in 34 as he looked to improve on shooting 70 on each of the first two days.

'Two under through nine
was a pretty decent effort, but I probably need a few more birdies
tomorrow morning to get myself within a few shots of the lead going into
the fourth round,' he said.

On the move: McIlroy improved on day three but still trails leader Thomas Bjorn (below) in Singapore

On the move: McIlroy improved on day three but still trails leader Thomas Bjorn (below) in Singapore

Thomas Bjorn

Bjorn made a steady start by parring his first three holes to retain the lead on nine under, the Dane one shot ahead of England's Chris Wood who picked up one stroke with a birdie on the second.

South African George Coetzee was alone in third on seven under and Italian Francesco Molinari shared fourth a shot further back with Thailand's Chapchai Nirat.

Bjorn was in good spirits as he looked for his first win of the year.

'This course can very quickly bite you, especially if you don't drive the ball well,' he told the European Tour website after completing his second round.

'The numbers can run up on this golf course, so you've got to stay with what you're doing. I've enjoyed these two days, and it's nice to play some good stuff but there's still a long way to go in this golf tournament. I've got two good rounds in the bank but there's a way to go.'

Louis Oostuizen leads HSBC Champions at halfway stage

Oostuizen builds five-shot lead at HSBC Champions after shooting course-record 63

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UPDATED:

09:43 GMT, 2 November 2012

Louis Oosthuizen stormed into a five-shot lead at golf's final world championship of the season in China.

The 30-year-old South African, who won the 2010 Open by a massive seven strokes, produced a course-record 63 to reach halfway on 16 under par in the HSBC Champions at Mission Hills.

'I'm in a great position to win, but it's not even crossed my mind at the moment,' Oosthuizen said. 'There's still a lot of golf to be played – I need to put myself in a great position going down the back nine on Sunday.'

King Louis: Oosthuizen shot a course record 63 to lead the HSBC Champions at the halfway stage

King Louis: Oosthuizen shot a course record 63 to lead the HSBC Champions at the halfway stage

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After making birdies at each of the five par fives in his opening 65 he went even better on his return to the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed lay-out.

Oosthuizen birdied four of them again, eagled the 566-yard seventh and also picked up four other birdies to go clear of the field.

'I started off a bit shaky with a bogey on the second, but immediately made birdie and was putting really well.

'I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie and if you make the putts you shoot a low number.'

Leader: Oosthuizen plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the second round at Mission Hills

Leader: Oosthuizen plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the second round at Mission Hills

Australian Adam Scott, tied for the lead after his opening 65, added a 68 and was joined in second place when current Open champion Ernie Els matched his compatriot's 63.

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Making his return from an ankle injury that forced him out of last week's PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda – replacement Padraig Harrington won it – Els threatened to go even lower when he turned in a seven-under 29.

The 43-year-old added further birdies at the 12th and 14th, hitting approaches to within two feet of the flag, and kept a bogey off his card for the second day running.

Great Scott: Aussie Adam hits his tee shot on the fifth hole on his way to a second round 68

Great Scott: Aussie Adam hits his tee shot on the fifth hole on his way to a second round 68

Five shots back: South Africa's Ernie Els

Five shots back: South Africa's Ernie Els

Scott was keeping pace early on with five birdies in the first 11 holes, but he bogeyed the next two and after coming back with two more birdies he came up short of the green at the 197-yard 17th and dropped another shot.

That was not as bad as the finishes of Phil Mickelson or Masters champion Bubba Watson, however.
After eagles at the third and seventh – and three birdies – Mickelson was alongside Scott, but then came a missed four-foot putt at the 14th and after that bogey worse was to come on the last.

Twice winner of the title in Shanghai, Mickelson pushed his second to the last into the hazard and in attempting to hack it out from amongst the rocks moved the ball only a matter of inches.

The next found the green, but a double bogey six meant a 69 and dropped him to sixth place.

Joint fourth are Ireland's Shane Lowry, bidding for a second win in three starts and a place in the world's top 50 for the first time, and American Ryder Cup player Jason Dufner, but they are six strokes behind.

Watson, who beat Oosthuizen in a play-off at Augusta in April, was in a tie for seventh until he put two balls in the water for a triple bogey eight at the reachable 15th.

Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen lead HSBC Champions

Scott finishes with a flourish to share lead with Oosthuizen at HSBC Champions

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 1 November 2012

A spectacular finish by Australian Adam Scott gave him a share of the lead with South African Louis Oosthuizen after the first round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

Scott, who blew the Open in July with four closing bogeys, this time followed back-to-back birdies with a 10-foot eagle putt on the 573-yard ninth at Mission Hills in Shenzhen.

That gave the 32-year-old a seven-under-par 65 minutes after 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen had rolled home a 14-foot birdie putt on the same green to set the clubhouse target.

Setting the pace: Adam Scott sits at the top of the leaderboard with Louis Oosthuizen

Setting the pace: Adam Scott sits at the top of the leaderboard with Louis Oosthuizen

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Ireland's Shane Lowry, who qualified by winning the Portugal Masters three weeks ago, looked set to be the star of the show when he reached eight under after 16 holes, but he finished disappointingly.

Lowry, also fifth last week at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, missed the green at the short 17th and after failing to get up and down there he paid the price for driving into sand on the last.

Another bogey dropped the 25-year-old into a tie for third with three of this week's favourites – Masters champion Bubba Watson, four-time major champion Phil Mickelson and last week's winner Peter Hanson.

Mickelson, seeking a third victory in the event, matched Scott's eagle on the ninth, in his case from 25 feet, and said: 'My game feels really good. It's gotten better each week since the PGA Championship and hopefully I can carry on – I certainly feel confident that I will be able to.'

Fellow left-hander Watson, who eagled the 568-yard 11th and also had seven birdies to make up for three bogeys, said:

'The course sets up good for a little cut off the tee and the greens are rolling so true.'

Hanson is hoping to take advantage of Rory McIlroy's controversial decision – and that of Tiger Woods – to miss the final world championship of the season.

Flawless: South African Oosthuizen had seven birdies and no dropped shots

Flawless: South African Oosthuizen had seven birdies and no dropped shots

After holding off world No 1 McIlroy last weekend for the best win of his career so far, Hanson has a chance to overtake the Northern Irishman on the European Tour money list with only three weeks left in the race.

The Swede, playing with Watson, was relieved to finish with a par five on the ninth, however.

He blasted his drive well wide and hit another ball off the tee, but he was able to advance the first one down the fairway.

'It was a good celebration on Sunday night and I took it easy on Monday,' Hanson said.

'You know you are playing well, but you have to stay fresh and it's all about keeping your head in the right mindset and keep playing aggressive.'

On a money mission: Peter Hanson is in contention and can catch Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai

On a money mission: Peter Hanson is in contention and can catch Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai

Dustin Johnson, another of the six American Ryder Cup players who made the trip, eagled the seventh in a 67 that gave him a share of seventh place with Thai golfer Prom Meesewat.

Luke Donald is among those one further back, while Ian Poulter, Paul Lawrie and defending champion Martin Kaymer shot 69s.

Lee Westwood needed three closing birdies for a 70, the same as Open champion Ernie Els on his return from an ankle injury, but Justin Rose, third on the European Order of Merit and like Hanson with an opportunity to go to number one this weekend, had to be content with a 72.

Bo van Pelt wins Perth International

Van Pelt holds nerve to edge out Dufner and clinch maiden European Tour title in Perth

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UPDATED:

10:35 GMT, 21 October 2012

Bo van Pelt clinched his first victory on the European Tour with a two-shot triumph in the ISPS HANDA Perth International.

American Van Pelt came into the final day with a one-stroke lead after holing a 60-foot birdie putt on the 18th on Saturday and picked up a shot on the first on Sunday to set the tone for his round.

He finished on 16 under overall after carding a 68 to beat compatriot Jason Dufner by two shots, with first-round leader Alejandro Canizares three strokes further back in third.

Pretty in pink: Bo van Pelt celebrates winning the Perth International

Pretty in pink: Bo van Pelt celebrates winning the Perth International

'Jason and I had a great battle and played well. It definitely got tight there at the end but luckily for me I came out on top,' Van Pelt told the European Tour website.

'Lake Karrinyup was a great test of golf all week. It's been a battle; the wind blew, the greens were firm and fast, and it was just a joy to play all week.

'Whenever you get a lead you want to take advantage of it so it was nice to finish one off this week.'

Holding his nerve: Van Pelt beat his countryman Jason Dufner to the title

Holding his nerve: Van Pelt beat his countryman Jason Dufner to the title

Van Pelt demonstrated nerves of steel around the green and rolled in from 15 feet at the seventh to turn in 32, before picking up his fourth and fifth birdies of the day immediately afterwards.

He two-putted at the 15th to give Dufner hopes of catching up but Van Pelt birdied the next and another dropped shot at the 17th proved inconsequential after Dufner had bogeyed the 16th.

Paul Casey finished in a tie for fifth – alongside fellow Englishman David Howell, Scotland's Scott Jamieson and Rhys Davies of Wales – after a marvellous final round of 67.

Frustrated: Dufner finished two shots behind Van Pelt after their respective final rounds

Frustrated: Dufner finished two shots behind Van Pelt after their respective final rounds

The 35-year-old Casey has struggled for form this season after suffering a dislocated shoulder in a snowboarding accident last Christmas but is showing signs of getting back to his best and finished on eight under overall – one stroke behind fourth-placed Michael Hendry.

Arjun Atwal leads McGladrey Classic

Atwal heads up McGladrey Classic at halfway point with Love and Furyk closing

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 20 October 2012

India's Arjun Atwal holds a narrow lead at the halfway stage of The McGladrey Classic after a second round of 63 at Sea Island.

Atwal carded eight birdies and one bogey to finish 10 under par, one shot ahead of tournament host Davis Love (66) and Jim Furyk (65).

Atwal is currently 175th on the PGA Tour money list and needs a high finish this week to move into the top 125 and secure his card for 2013.

Small lead: Arjun Atwal is in pole position - but only just

Small lead: Arjun Atwal is in pole position – but only just

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'Yeah, I'm in a desperate situation,' Atwal said. 'I got no choice to either win or finish in the top two, I think my caddie figured out. So I just gotta grind it out.'

Furyk is playing his first tournament since the Ryder Cup at Medinah, where the United States – captained by Love – squandered a 10-6 lead in Sunday's singles.

The former US Open champion has had seven top-10 finishes this season, but badly wants a first victory since 2010 after several near misses.

Hit: Jim Furyk watches his drive off the 10th tee

Hit: Jim Furyk watches his drive off the 10th tee

'I have a lot of confidence in my ball striking right now, but when you don't play a lot sometimes it's (about) the course management, making the good decisions,' Furyk told www.pgatour.com.

'And so far that's all kind of coming back to me slowly and I've kind of gained momentum as the last two rounds have gone on.'

Overnight joint leader Bud Cauley added a 70 to his opening 62 to lie two shots off the pace on eight under alongside David Toms (67) and Gavin Coles (65).

Not his day: Bud Cauley reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 17th green

Not his day: Bud Cauley reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 17th green

'I just kind of didn't have it today,' Cauley said. 'I would have loved to have shot under par, but even is not too bad. So I'm going to go on the range and work on it and hopefully play better on the weekend.'

Fellow co-leader Marco Dawson could only manage a five-over 75 to slide into a tie for 40th.

England's Greg Owen is three off the lead on seven under after adding a 69 to his opening 64.

Davis Love in contention at McGladrey Classic after round one

Englishman Owen and Ryder Cup captain Love start brightly at Sea Island

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UPDATED:

05:53 GMT, 19 October 2012

Hard work paid off for England's Greg Owen as he opened with a first round of 64 in The McGladrey Classic on Thursday.

Owen chipped in for birdie on the 11th, his second hole, and carded five more in a flawless six-under-par round at Sea Island Golf Club.

That left him two shots off the pace set by American duo Bud Cauley and Marco Dawson, with US Ryder Cup captain and tournament host Davis Love one behind Owen after a 65.

Good start: Greg Owen hits his drive off the ninth tee during the first round of the McGladrey Classic

Good start: Greg Owen hits his drive off the ninth tee during the first round of the McGladrey Classic

'I'm working really hard this week and it's starting to pay off,' said Owen, who had to go through the qualifying school to get back on the PGA Tour.

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The Mansfield golfer is 93rd on the money list after playing last season on the second-tier Web.com Tour, when he admitted he was very disheartened with his game.

'I struggled the last four, maybe five years,' Owen said. 'This year I just played really solid. I've putted better, I've holed out better. And (hopefully) there's still more to come.'

Back to the day job: Davis Love III putts on the 15th green

Frustration: Gary Christian reacts to missing a birdie putt on the 16th

Back to the day job: Davis Love III putts on the 15th green on his return to the PGA Tour (left) while Gary Christian reacts to missing a birdie putt on the 16th (right)

Strong iron play was the key to Owen's round, with his longest birdie putt coming from just 11 feet.

'If the wind blows and the sun comes out this afternoon those greens could get really quick,' Owen added.

'You've got to hit golf shots. You've got doglegs either way. You've got to hit fairways and place the iron shots in a position where you can have a putt for birdie.'

Love admitted he was in need of some extra stimulation after the rigours of being Ryder Cup captain at Medinah and tournament host this week.

Life's a pitch: American Ryder Cup player Zach Johnson chips to the 15th green

Life's a pitch: American Ryder Cup player Zach Johnson chips to the 15th green

'The only adjustment I've made is more Red Bull to keep my energy up,' Love told PGATour.com.

'After the Ryder Cup I've been playing these last two weeks and I'm ready to play. The responsibilities, the parties and all that are a lot of fun, but when I get up in the morning I can tell I'm not getting a whole lot of rest.

'But I'm feeling good. I'm excited to play.'

Justin Rose beats Lee Westwood in Turkish Airlines World Golf Final

Rose almost 1m richer after one-shot victory over Westwood in Turkey

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UPDATED:

10:05 GMT, 12 October 2012

Justin Rose beat Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood for the second time in three days to win the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final and the 935,000 prize.

Rose had got the better of Westwood in the group stages at Antalya Golf Club before beating 14-time major winner Tiger Woods in the semi-finals.

Westwood had shot a 64 in his final group game and then a stunning round of 61 a few hours later in his semi-final win over former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, but was unable to reproduce such devastating scoring and had to settle for 'just' 1million US Dollars (623,000) as runner-up.

Turkey shoot: Rose claimed the top prize after beating Westwood in Antalya

Turkey shoot: Rose claimed the top prize after beating Westwood in Antalya

Turkish Airlines World Golf Final

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Rose never trailed in the match after
holing from 25ft for birdie on the first, but saw a two-shot lead cut
in half on the 16th when he surprisingly missed from three feet for
birdie after Westwood had holed from three times the distance.

However, Rose responded superbly with
a long-range birdie two on the 17th to give himself some breathing
space on the last, which proved welcome after Westwood made birdie to
complete a 67 and lose by just one shot.

Second best: Westwood missed out on the big prize by a single shot

Second best: Westwood missed out on the big prize by a single shot

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki beach trip cancelled due to bad weather

Thunder blow to McIlroy's Turkey hopes and soaks beach trip plans with Wozniacki

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UPDATED:

13:12 GMT, 10 October 2012

Rory McIlroy's plans for a day on the beach with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki were ruined by a thunderstorm – and the outside chance of still being able to win the 1.5million US dollar (940,000) prize.

World number one McIlroy chipped in for birdie on the final hole of his second group match at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final this morning, only to see opponent Charl Schwartzel follow him in from 12ft.

That meant a one-shot victory for the South African (70 to 71) and a second straight defeat for McIlroy, who was left needing to beat Tiger Woods and see Schwartzel beat Matt Kuchar to have any chance of making the semi-finals.

Cancel your plans: McIlroy had been hoping to hit the beach in Turkey

Cancel your plans: McIlroy had been hoping to hit the beach in Turkey

Turkish Airlines World Golf Final

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Those final group games were due to be played this afternoon but were called off without a shot being hit after a massive thunderstorm, meaning McIlroy will have to return to Antalya Golf Club for at least 18 holes on Thursday.

'It looks like I'll get to spend a day on the beach tomorrow, which will be nice,' McIlroy said after losing to former Masters champion Schwartzel, only to see those plans change when the rains came later in the day.

'It was actually a decent match,' McIlroy added. 'I felt like I played a bit better today, had plenty of chances and just didn't really hole much.

'I got off to a better start and Charl played solid and then birdied three of the last four so I couldn't really do much about that.'

As for his showdown with Woods, which failed to materialise at last month's Ryder Cup, McIlroy added: 'I'll try and keep him out of those semi-finals. I'm sure that's not what the tournament wants but it's what I'm going to try to do.'

Up against it: McIlroy has it all to do after losing a nail-biter with Charl Schwartzel

Up against it: McIlroy has it all to do after losing a nail-biter with Charl Schwartzel

Up against it: McIlroy has it all to do after losing a nail-biter with Charl Schwartzel

Schwartzel, who has been hampered by various injuries this season, has now beaten the world's top two players back to back and said: 'Any time you can do that it's going to give you a lot of confidence.

'I've not had the best of years and decided to have a better attitude towards the game and this certainly helps.'

Woods had lost to Schwartzel on Tuesday but beat Ryder Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar on Wednesday by five shots with a round of 67, four under par.

'It felt good,' said Woods, who won just half a point from his four games in Medinah and admitted on Monday that he had apologised to the four rookies on the US team for his performance.

'I didn't start great with a double-bogey on the second and a bogey on four, but after that I played well.'

Life's a beach! bad weather called a halt to McIlroy's plans for a trip to the beach with Wozniacki

Life's a beach! bad weather called a halt to McIlroy's plans for a trip to the beach with Wozniacki

Life's a beach! bad weather called a halt to McIlroy's plans for a trip to the beach with Wozniacki

The scoring system – with one point for a win in each 18-hole medal match play contest – means that all eight players remain in with a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Wins for Schwartzel and McIlroy would see Schwartzel through to the semi-finals on three points with McIlroy, Woods and Kuchar all on one point in Group One.

The lowest aggregate score for each player's three matches would then be used to break the tie, with one player joining Schwartzel in the last four.

The same scenario could also unfold in Group Two, with Justin Rose top with two points after beating Lee Westwood (66 to 69), and Webb Simpson (65) joining Westwood on one point by beating Hunter Mahan (67).

Rose faces Simpson and Westwood takes on Mahan in the remaining matches.

Ian Poulter: The US wanted to shut me up and after we"d won they wouldn"t even have a beer with us

We were four points down but when I walked into the locker room everyone was singing… One Ian Poulter, there's only one Ian Poulter

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UPDATED:

21:29 GMT, 6 October 2012

When a weary but elated Ian Poulter walked into the Medinah Country Club locker room with playing partner Rory McIlroy at the end of a Saturday that left Europe’s Ryder Cup hopes in shreds, he was greeted by the most unexpected sound. As a man, the European team were singing: ‘One Ian Poulter, there’s only one Ian Poulter’.

And it was in that sublime moment that Poulter says he realised that, even with the Americans taking a 10-6 lead into the final day, Europe’s hopes of clinging on to the famous old trophy were far from over.

Poulter’s birdie on the 18th hole had claimed a precious point for a team that had been staring into the abyss for almost two days. More than that, though, the way he had strung together five successive birdies — casting his partner, the world No 1 golfer, into the shade — had given the Europeans the self-belief they needed to go out the next day and complete one of sport’s greatest comebacks.

‘We were four points behind but it didn’t feel like that,’ said Poulter last week as he looked back at the Miracle of Medinah. ‘The atmosphere within the team had been turned on its head. For two days, it had felt like a morgue, but now we had a glimmer of hope.’

Champagne moment: Ian Poulter,back at his Florida home, toasts Europe's Ryder Cup victory

Champagne moment: Ian Poulter,back at his Florida home, toasts Europe's Ryder Cup victory

/10/06/article-0-1549429F000005DC-258_634x424.jpg” width=”634″ height=”424″ alt=”Cheerleader: Poulter leads the celebrations after a remarkable turnaround at Medinah” class=”blkBorder” />

Cheerleader: Poulter leads the celebrations after a remarkable turnaround at Medinah

‘I knew going into the Ryder Cup that they wanted to shut me up. They don’t like my outlandish behaviour, my fist-pumping. But you know what It’s the Ryder Cup and that’s the passion I have seen from the competition over the years. I have the right to do my job and I’ll do it to the best of my ability. Sure as hell, I’m going to celebrate a putt. I’m sorry, but that’s me enjoying the moment, enjoying the atmosphere.

‘I have massive respect for all their players; these are guys I play against week in, week out and they’re among the best in the world. But in Ryder Cup week I don’t want to talk to them. It means too much.

‘There’s no malice in anything I have ever done in the Ryder Cup. I’ve done nothing that I feel guilty about. I have simply gone out there and played my heart out. I’ve won my matches and I have a fantastic record that I’m damn proud of. And if they don’t like me for that, well, I’ll still sleep pretty good tonight.’

Poulter’s passion for the Ryder Cup was matched by the emotional side of Jose Maria Olazabal’s captaincy, which brought with it the echoes of his great friend, the late Seve Ballesteros.

‘Jose spoke to us for about 15 minutes at our hotel on the Wednesday about what it would mean to him to take home — he used that word — the Ryder Cup,’ recalled Poulter. ‘/10/06/article-0-154C3CA5000005DC-913_634x426.jpg” width=”634″ height=”426″ alt=”Team effort: Europe's golfers and skipper Jose Maria Olazabal pose after one of sport's great comebacks” class=”blkBorder” />

Team effort: Europe's golfers and skipper Jose Maria Olazabal pose after one of sport's great comebacks

‘He reminded us what it would mean to Seve and that we should play with pride and try to put our hands back on the trophy. At the end, we were going to the gala dinner by coach and Jose asked if we would like him to put on a video of past Ryder Cups for the journey. Paul Lawrie suddenly spoke out, “God damn, man, I’m 43 and I can’t cope with this. I need some tissues…”

‘It was one of those defining moments, everyone started laughing. It was so funny for Paul, who’s such a quiet man, to say that. But it was what everyone was feeling. Everyone needed to catch their breath. But we knew then that we really had to do it for Jose.’

And so they did, making the scoreboard a sea of blue on the final day as American expectations of a rout were turned on their head. Poulter reveals that, when it was all over and the ritual handshakes had been observed, the two teams went their separate ways without sharing a traditional beer on Sunday night. It was, apparently, the decision of the Americans not to socialise.

‘Obviously, one side is elated and the other is completely depressed,’ he said. ‘We normally get together for a drink afterwards. But it didn’t happen, which was a shame. We played incredible golf against one another, some of the best I have ever seen. We were outplayed for two days, but we played them off the park on Sunday. The Americans were very upset, very emotional on the back of the 18th green. There weren’t many who had a dry eye.’

US captain Davis Love III did venture into the European team room to congratulate Olazabal and his players, as did a number of the team’s wives. But the American players kept their distance.

On the charge: Poulter tees off on the 18th before beating Webb Simpson in the singles

On the charge: Poulter tees off on the 18th before beating Webb Simpson in the singles

Poulter appreciates how they must have felt. Although he has now been on three victorious Ryder Cup teams, winning 12 matches and losing just three, he was a member of the only European team that has lost this century, at Valhalla, in 2008. ‘It hurts to lose,’ he said. ‘I know how badly they have taken this defeat and it’s going to stay with them for a while.’

Had any of the American players been here on Thursday morning, they would have seen an altogether different Poulter from the one who has become their Ryder Cup nemesis. Poulter and his wife, Katie, who have four children, were guests as the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, performed the dedication ceremony at the new, $400million Nemours Children’s Hospital, close to their home. Poulter raised $104,000 by hosting a charity golf day, and a fourth-floor waiting room area there has been named in honour of ‘Ian and Katie and the Poulter Family’.

Katie was a nurse before having their children, Aimee-Leigh, now 10, eight-year-old Luke, three-year-old Lilly, and baby Joshua, just eight months old. ‘We have four healthy children, so if it’s possible to do anything for poorly kids then you are going to do it,’ said Poulter. ‘We’ll run the charity day next year.’

Poulter first bought a property in Florida four years ago but he had rented one for nine years before that. ‘I like the lifestyle, I have great practice facilities at Lake Nona and it’s almost always sunny!’ he said.

He has worked hard for all he has achieved. He recalls how, as a penniless assistant golf professional in Hertfordshire, he stayed in a tent with two friends in a field two miles from The Belfry to watch the 1993 Ryder Cup.

‘We were eating tinned food and a little old lady used to let us go and wash at her house each night,’ he said. ‘She felt sorry for us and gave us a bottle of wine as well.

Passion: Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose lead the fans in chorus

Passion: Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose lead the fans in chorus

‘The atmosphere was electric. I was hooked from the start. I watched Davis Love play Colin Montgomerie, but it was too dark for them to finish, so they walked in after the 17th. I ran under the ropes and rushed up to Monty, and said, “Colin, can I have your golf ball, please” I was a cheeky 17-year-old!’

The ball he begged from Montgomerie is displayed at his home alongside his trophies and other memorabilia, including his hotel key from his first Ryder Cup, in 2004. ‘From staying in a tent to nicking my room key, I think you can safely say I’m addicted to the Ryder Cup,’ he said, smiling. ‘I keep absolutely everything. This is my story, this is my life.’

If one moment encapsulated Poulter’s willingness to play the Americans at their own game, it was his behaviour on the first tee last Saturday, when he followed Watson’s lead in orchestrating the crowd into a frenzy. Predictably, the crowd bayed at Poulter like a mob. Poulter turned to his playing partner Justin Rose and said: ‘Sorry, mate, but I had to do it.’

Poulter chuckled at the memory. ‘Justin usually controls himself really well, but he looked at me, sighed and said, “I don’t know what your heart-rate was like, but mine was going mad”. Actually, my heart was thumping so much I could hear it. But it was the only way, it had to be done.’

One by one, Donald, McIlroy, Lawrie, Westwood and others brought home points until Martin Kaymer holed the putt that retained the Ryder Cup, and Francesco Molinari claimed a half with Tiger Woods that won the trophy outright.

‘Winning it for the team, for Jose, for Europe meant absolutely everything,’ said Poulter. ‘I still can’t properly comprehend what we did.’

Pertinently, nor can the American team who failed to silence him, or beat him, over three truly memorable days at Medinah.

Ryder Cup king

Paul Casey loses ball to dog at Dunhill Links

Casey finds trouble at dogleg 12th as FORE-legged friend pinches ball off green

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UPDATED:

14:28 GMT, 5 October 2012

Paul Casey found himself unable to play on for a while in the Dunhill Links Championship after a dog came on to a green and had some fun with his ball.

The incident came on the 12th hole at Kingsbarns as Casey continued his partnership in the celebrity pro-am with Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps.

Here boy: Paul Casey tries to get the dog to drop his ball on the green

Here boy: Paul Casey tries to get the dog to drop his ball on the green

And he's off: The dog takes Casey's ball for a little run

And he's off: The dog takes Casey's ball for a little run

Eventually the dog, named on Twitter as Digby, decided to move on and the former world No 3, on in two at the par five, two-putted for a birdie that lifted him to one under par.

That was, however, still 11 adrift of South African Branden Grace, who equalled the European Tour record on Thursday with a 12-under-par 60 on the course.

Mugshot: The Dunhill Links Twitter page posted a picture of Digby

Mugshot: The Dunhill Links Twitter page posted a picture of Digby

Grace, switching to St Andrews for his second round, was among the later starters, but his lead remained two as France's Victor Dubuisson – round in a course-record 62 at the Home of Golf – covered his first five holes at Carnoustie in level par.

One shot further back were Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and Spain's Pablo Martin, who birdied the first four holes of Carnoustie's back nine.

Bored now: The dog eventually releases Casey's ball after having a play

Bored now: The dog eventually releases Casey's ball after having a play

It's a bit wet: Casey has a look to see what condition is ball is in

It's a bit wet: Casey has a look to see what condition is ball is in