Tag Archives: colsaerts

MASTERS 2013 BETTING GUIDE: Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar among our top tips for Augusta glory

MASTERS BETTING GUIDE: McIlroy and Kuchar among our top tips for Augusta glory

and the likeable 34-year-old, with his length off the tee and touch on the greens, can go close again.

Already a winner this year at the Accenture Match Play, Kuchar is 40-1 with Bwin.

Ian Poulter

Lee
Westwood, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose led the English charge with
top-10 finishes last year and a case can be made for all three this time round.

Westwood has settled well since moving to America and Justin Rose is up to No 3 in the world but our money is on Poulter.

Don't
expect the fist pumps and bulging eyes from Medinah but if he can play
like he did at the Ryder Cup he can better last year's seventh place.

Get on him at 40-1 (widely available) and take advantage of Coral offering 11-2 on him being top Englishman.

Augusta
National is often a graveyard for rookies – Fuzzy Zoeller was the last
man to win here on his first visit and that was way back in 1979.

Eighteen
debutants tee it up this Thursday and bookies have Nicolas Colsaerts at
the head of the betting for this market. We won't be arguing.

The
Belgian bomber has been like a kid in a sweetshop since driving down
Magnolia Lane for the first time and while a Green Jacket might be too
much to ask, expect his to still be wearing that big grin on Sunday
night. He's 5-1 to be top rookie.

* All prices correct at time of publication – subject to change

Colin Montgomerie worries European stars" defection to PGA Tour could weaken Ryder Cup defence

Monty worries European stars' defection to PGA Tour could weaken Ryder Cup defence

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UPDATED:

19:39 GMT, 18 December 2012

Colin Montgomerie says that steps need to be taken to encourage Europe's stars to play more in Europe.

Ten of September's successful Ryder Cup side – all bar Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari – will be members of the PGA Tour in America next season.

Montgomerie, whose induction next year into the World Golf Hall of Fame was announced today, is a member of the European Tour's tournament committee and said: 'It's very difficult and we have to sit down and try to address this.

Miracle at Medinah: Europe's victorious Ryder Cup stars celebrate in Chicago

Miracle at Medinah: Europe's victorious Ryder Cup stars celebrate in Chicago

'Sponsorship is getting harder and the first thing a sponsor asks is “who's playing”. He wants as many Ryder Cup players as possible.

'It's important for the future of European golf.'

Tom Watson spoke last week after being named as United States captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup about the edge Europe gains by staging the match on courses well-known to their players.

The 2014 match is at Gleneagles in Scotland, but although a European Tour event has been held there every year since 1999 it does not always attract the top names.

Honour: European Ryder Cup hero Colin Montgomerie (right) was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Tuesday

Honour: Colin Montgomerie (right) is now a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame

This August, for example, the only members of Jose Maria Olazabal's side who played there – even though it was the final qualifying event – were Lawrie, Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Montgomerie led the side at Celtic Manor two years ago and admitted today he was disappointed that more of his side did not play the Wales Open on the course four months earlier. Only seven of the 12 were there.

'We need to get our team to Gleneagles. We have to have that advantage,' the Scot said. 'In 1997 our biggest advantage was Valderrama. The Americans had three days to prepare, we had 10 years.'

Jose Maria Olazabal still loves being captain at Royal Trophy

Olazabal still loves being captain as Ryder Cup hero tees it up at Royal Trophy

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UPDATED:

10:20 GMT, 14 December 2012

Jose Maria Olazabal is captain of Europe again this week, and it feels good.

The mention of September's Miracle of Medinah still brings a beaming smile to the face of the great Spaniard, and why not

Not many men can say they inspired arguably the most impossible sporting comeback of all time.

Head to head: Jose Maria Olazabal (right) and Asia captain Joe Ozaki were all smiles ahead of the event

Head to head: Jose Maria Olazabal (right) and Asia captain Joe Ozaki were all smiles ahead of the event

Royal Trophy

Click here for the latest from Brunei

Olazabal is once more in charge of his continent for the sixth edition of the Royal Trophy in Brunei, where he and fellow Ryder Cup heroes Nicolas Colsaerts and Francesco Molinari are taking on the might of Asia, including Japanese superstar Ryo Ishikawa, over three days of matchplay amid the tropical rainforest at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.

Olazabal has had time to reflect on Medinah since Europe's scarcely believable comeback and, speaking to Sportsmail Online in Brunei, sums up the experience as 'an extraordinary moment. Unforgettable. Unique.'

Victory in the Windy City whipped up a whirlwind of publicity for Olazabal and even led to an audience with the King of Spain.

What with getting his feel back for playing ahead of this tournament with trips to the Far East, he has only recently been able to snatch moments of peace to let it all sink in.

'It's true that for a few weeks after it was over I didn't have the chance to reflect on what happened that week. I'm really looking forward to this winter, having more time on my own with a DVD and a nice glass of wine, and just enjoying it.

Nice work if you can get it: European skipper Olazabal lines up a putt as Miguel Angel Jimenez looks on

Nice work if you can get it: European skipper Olazabal lines up a putt as Miguel Angel Jimenez looks on

'Last week I had enough time to go shooting with my father. We go for partridge, quail, duck. We had a couple of nice days. It's nice to go with the dogs, just on your own, that's the beauty of it. You feel like you're the only man in the world. That sense of peace… that's what I really look forward to.'

And did he bring any dinner home for the family

'Yes, both of us did!' he laughs.

Here in Brunei, things are a little different to those incredible few days in Chicago: less hair-pulling, gut-wrenching and tear-shedding, more back-slapping, belly-laughing and mickey-taking.

During the opening ceremony we were even treated to a slapstick comedy sketch from Laurel and Hardy, otherwise known as Olazabal and Joe Osaki, the Asian captain.

When Osaki rubbed Olazabal's nose in the fact he had triumphed the last time the pair led their continents in this format, the Spaniard ran from his seat across the stage to deliver a few playful whacks to his friend's head.

Thankfully, no golfers were harmed in the making of this gag.

Two of his five a day: Our man Chris got a bit fruity with the fans in Brunei

Two of his five a day: Our man Chris got a bit fruity with the fans in Brunei

'Obviously it's not the same intensity as the Ryder Cup, it's a more relaxed atmosphere,' says Olazabal.

'But don't get me wrong, things are going to get serious. We're facing a serious challenge. The Asian team is strong. We're going to have to be on our toes.'

Olazabal's tears for his great friend Seve Ballesteros, who devised the Royal Trophy in 2006, regularly punctuated the Ryder Cup and gave viewers an insight into both the man's genuinely warm nature and his appreciation for life away from the golf course.

Ollie is emotional, and he doesn't care who knows it. He is no relentless golfing machine, focused purely on victory.

'You have to be hard in competition when you're on the course. But outside we cannot forget that this is a game. I've known Joe for many years, since the late 80s playing in Japan. You cannot forget that we're all human beings.

'There are other things in the world more important than what we do today here and you have to be able to separate those things. You have to have the right, friendly atmosphere off the golf course. On the golf course we shake hands on the first tee but that's it. We're going to try to beat each other.'

Glorious: The sun was shining on day one of the Royal Trophy in Brunei

Glorious: The sun was shining on day one of the Royal Trophy in Brunei

Unlike at Medinah, Olazabal will be teeing it up as well as leading his team as a player-captain.

On Friday he partnered compatriot Miguel Angel Jimenez in the foursomes against YE Yang and KT Kim.

The mere mention of Jimenez brings a smile to Olazabal's face, although he jokes that the 'old boys' might need to use a buggy or play off the forward tees to compete with the whippersnappers.

Alongside Jimenez and the Ryder Cup stars, Henrik Stenson, Edoardo Molinari, Marcel Siem and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano complete the European team.

Olazabal, a two-time Masters champion, admits he is not as sharp as he once was but now that the Ryder Cup is behind him, he has his sights firmly set on finding form on the course again.

'My game is on and off,' he says. 'I can play a bunch of great holes but all of a sudden I can hit that crooked shot that spoils everything. My goal now that the Ryder Cup is over is to concentrate on my game. I've always worked hard but (I need) to have my frame of mind on practicing and playing.'

Olazabal speaks glowingly of Tom Watson, who was confirmed as United States captain for Gleneagles in 2014.

But is he not tempted to give the captaincy another shot, on home soil The answer is a categorical no.

'The Ryder Cup is over, for sure. If Ivan Ballesteros (Seve's nephew and Royal Trophy organiser) asks me to captain again, I might do it. Most probably I would do it. For Seve, for Ivan, for the family. But the Ryder Cup – that's over.'

It may be over, but it will never be forgotten. Just ask the Princess of Sharjah – her highness herself has made the journey here to speak with Olazabal.

Like his late, great friend, Olly too is now golfing royalty.

Rory McIlroy and Peter Hanson set for BMW Masters duel in final round

McIlroy and Hanson set for Sunday duel at Shanghai noon over BMW Masters title

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UPDATED:

09:11 GMT, 27 October 2012

Peter Hanson has world No 1 Rory McIlroy breathing down his neck with a day to go at the BMW Masters in Shanghai.

A third-round 70 took Hanson to 16 under par, but his Ryder Cup team-mate shot 69 and is now only one behind as he chases a fifth victory of the season.

South African George Coetzee's 66 brought him only three behind and then comes a further two-stroke gap to a chasing pack which includes Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Irish pair Michael Hoey and Shane Lowry.

Frustration: McIlroy throws his club on the seventh green

Frustration: McIlroy throws his putter on the seventh green

Frustration: McIlroy throws his putter on the seventh green but still trails leader Hanson by just one shot

BMW Masters Leaderboard

Click here to see all the latest scores

Hanson was caught first by McIlroy
and then by Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts – another of the European stars in
Chicago last month – when he followed a birdie on the second with three
bogeys by the eighth.

But the Swede regained control with
birdies at the ninth, 11th, 13th and 15th. McIlroy matched two of those,
made a 14-foot putt to narrow the gap to one again on the 16th and then
lipped out from nine feet at the next.

'The wind was blowing from the
opposite direction, which made some of the holes trickier,' Hanson said.
'It was not as easy to go low and my driving was not great, but it was
still a good round.

Daunting: McIlroy hits his tee shot over water on the seventh hole of his third round on Saturday

Daunting: McIlroy hits his tee shot over water on the seventh hole of his third round on Saturday

Centre of attention: Northern Ireland's world No 1 hits an approach at the Lake Malaren Golf Club

Centre of attention: Northern Ireland's world No 1 hits an approach at the Lake Malaren Golf Club

'I need to play better, but if I can get back to how I was the first two days I think I have a good chance.

'To win would mean a lot. This is the start of a big stretch and it's nice to find a bit of form.'

He was the only member of Jose Maria
Olazabal's side at Medinah not to contribute anything to the points
total and was angry not to be given more than two games in the week.

McIlroy, winner of the Shanghai
Masters on the course a year ago, dropped his only shot at the long
third and had to wait until the 11th for his second birdie of the day,
but he remains favourite for a first prize of over 720,000.

Out in front: Sweden's Peter Hanson leads the way after three rounds of the BMW Masters

Out in front: Sweden's Peter Hanson leads the way after three rounds of the BMW Masters

Colsaerts was only one behind when he
came to the 420-yard 16th, but driving into thick rough and then going
over the green with his third led to a double bogey and he followed it
immediately with another, pushing his tee shot to the 17th into the
lake.

That enabled Donald, Rose, Hoey,
Lowry, last year's Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Swede Alex
Noren all to move into a tie for fourth on 11 under, five back.

The highlight of Rose's round was
driving the green at the dogleg 380-yard 11th and sinking a 30-foot putt
for eagle. He came home in 32 for a 69, but is in danger of falling
further behind McIlroy in the race to be Europe's money list winner this
season.

Plenty to smile about: South Africa's George Coetzee is in contention after a Saturday 66 left him three shots back

Plenty to smile about: South Africa's George Coetzee is in contention after a Saturday 66 left him three shots back

The 23-year-old Northern Irishman has
already sealed the PGA Tour title in America and can take a huge step
tomorrow towards emulating the double achieved by Donald last year.

Robert Karlsson played with Hanson and
McIlroy, but fell 10 behind with a 75, while Welshman Jamie Donaldson,
who led by four after his opening course-record 62, is now eight back
after disappointing rounds of 74 and 72.

Bulgaria golf resort Thracian Cliffs to host World Match Play Championship in 2013

Bulgaria's 'Pebble Beach of Europe' picked to host 2013 World Match Play title

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UPDATED:

08:24 GMT, 23 October 2012

Bulgaria will host a European Tour event for the first time when the 2013 World Match Play Championship is staged at stunning Black Sea resort of Thracian Cliffs.

Organisers said that the move from Andalucia in Spain, where the tournament has been staged for the last three years, to Bulgaria was part of a plan to rotate the venue of the championship that has been in operation since 1964.

Yet the news comes just one month after financial problems saw the Andalucian Masters cancelled in the Spanish region.

Pure delight: Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach resort in Bulgaria will play host to next year's World Match Play championship

Pure delight: Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach resort in Bulgaria will play host to next year's World Match Play championship

Golf blog

'This is a real coup to be chosen to host such a prestigious international tournament with a rich heritage and sporting tradition,' said Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boiko Borisov.

'The recent growth of golf in our country will have the opportunity to be showcased around the world.'

Some of the biggest names in the sport have won the World Match Play – Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Greg Norman, the late Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and South African Ernie Els who has lifted the trophy a record seven times.

Player designed Thracian Cliffs and the course has been described as the 'Pebble Beach of Europe', a reference to the spectacular championship links in California.

Glorious greens: The Bulgarian resort, designed by Gary Player, is considered the 'Pebble Beach of Europe'

Glorious greens: The Bulgarian resort, designed by Gary Player, is considered the 'Pebble Beach of Europe'

thracian cliffs golf & beach resort, Bulgaria - the venue for the world matchplay championship

Nicolas Colsaerts, a member of Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup team in Chicago last month, will defend his World Match Play title from May 16-19.

'I've never been to Bulgaria but I've heard great things about the country and Thracian Cliffs,' said the Belgian golfer.

Per Ericsson, president of event management for sponsors Volvo, said future venues for the tournament would be announced at a later date.

Hands on: Nicolas Colsaerts will defend his World Match Play title next year in Bulgaria

Hands on: Nicolas Colsaerts will defend his World Match Play title next year in Bulgaria

'While our focus is firmly on delivering a magnificent 2013 championship at Thracian Cliffs, we then plan to rotate the World Match Play between a few very special venues around the world,' he added.

Bulgaria has a population of 7.3 million but there are just six courses and about 600 golfers in the country.

Former international football players Hristo Stoichkov and Krasimir Balakov are regular participants in local tournaments.

Bulgaria was named the undiscovered golf destination of 2012 by the International Golf Travel Market.

Ryder Cup 2012: Jose Maria Olazabal won"t stay on as captain

That's it from me! Olazabal rules out taking another spell as Ryder Cup captain

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UPDATED:

11:10 GMT, 2 October 2012

Jose Maria Olazabal has ruled out captaining the European Ryder Cup team again.

There had been fresh calls for the popular Spaniard to take charge of the defence of the trophy at Gleneagles in 2014 after guiding Team Europe to victory in Chicago.

Paul McGinley, one of Olazabal's vice captains, is expected to get the nod for the battle at the Centenary Course in two years.

They're back: (From left) Nicolas Colsaerts, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Captain Jose Maria Olazabal, Francesco Molinari, Paul McGinley and Miguel Angel Jimenez pose with the trophy after landing at Heathrow

They're back: (From left) Nicolas Colsaerts, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Captain Jose Maria Olazabal, Francesco Molinari, Paul McGinley and Miguel Angel Jimenez pose with the trophy after landing at Heathrow

Thumbs up: Lee Westwood

Come here you: Jose Maria Olazabal and Lee Westwood

All smiles: Westwood gave his captain Olazabal a hug at the airport

Olazabal and members of his
victorious side touched down at Heathrow on Tuesday morning – tired from
travelling and celebrating long into the night but still beaming from
the Miracle at Medinah.

The narrow win over the Americans was celebrated in style on Sunday evening but it was back to business for Olazabal and Co.

While the likes of Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Luke Donald are based in the United States, other European Tour stars are back in action on home soil this week.

Paul Lawrie, Peter Hanson and Martin Kaymer are heading for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and Thomas Bjrn, Darren Clarke, Miguel Angel Jimnez and McGinley, all vice captains to Olazabal, are also teeing it up in Scotland.

More to follow…

Belgian bomber: Colsaerts had a storming debut

Belgian bomber: Colsaerts had a storming debut

Natural leader: Team Europe skipper Olazabal

Natural leader: Team Europe skipper Olazabal

Ryder Cup 2012: How Europe won it – Derek Lawrenson

The Masters of Medinah: How Europe came from behind to retain the Ryder Cup

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 1 October 2012

How do you win the Ryder Cup when you’re four points down and the Americans are so exultant the bookmakers have made them 33-1 on to win the trophy How do you beat the best player in the American team without so much as a single warm-up shot

How do you keep the will to win when the crowd has turned febrile and they’re making Hannibal Lecter noises at you as you’re trying to play a bunker shot Or hissing ‘Miss it! Miss it!’ when you’re standing over a putt to complete the Medinah miracle

Three of the classiest men in golf stood centre stage on Sunday and what stories Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer had to tell. It is part of Ryder Cup legend now that McIlroy beat Keegan Bradley after arriving at the course with minutes to spare.

High point (from left): Sergio Garcia, Paul Lawrie, Ian Poulter, Nicolas Colsaerts, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson, Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer lift captain Jose Maria Olazabal aloft

High point (from left): Sergio Garcia, Paul Lawrie, Ian Poulter, Nicolas Colsaerts, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson, Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer lift captain Jose Maria Olazabal aloft

If you had to pick one moment from the whole exhausting occasion and pronounce it the one when the tide shifted inexorably from red to blue, it would have to be Rose’s astonishing success over Phil Mickelson.

And then there was Kaymer, standing over a five-foot putt to retain the trophy, just as his idol Bernhard Langer did at Kiawah Island in 1991.

As Kaymer said, emphasising one particular word: ‘If I’m lucky enough to have grandchildren one day, this is the story that I will HAVE to tell.’

Nobody who saw Kaymer on Saturday morning could have believed he would be playing the role of hero the following afternoon. His captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, had told him he would be sitting out both matches after an awful showing the previous day and he was distraught.

Nerves of steel: Kaymer holes the winning putt on the 18th green

Nerves of steel: Kaymer holes the winning putt on the 18th green

Nerves of steel: Kaymer holes the winning putt on the 18th green

single scores GRAPHIC.jpg

A major champion as recently as 2010, how could this happen If truth be told, the 27-year-old was feeling sorry for himself.

‘I fully respected the captain’s decision, but when you play badly on the Friday you want to show people what you can do the following day,’ he said. ‘I didn’t have that chance.’

He sought out Langer for advice. Trust him to put Kaymer right and spell out what team golf is all about.

‘My attitude wasn’t right, but it was after my chat with Bernhard,’ said Kaymer, smiling.

Rose had holed nothing in a Saturday fourballs pummelling and was feeling helpless with the team trailing by six points as he went off the course. He had been one of the few success stories in the defeat at Valhalla in 2008 and this Ryder Cup was unfolding in a similarly disappointing fashion.

Like his team-mates, though, Rose took inspiration from the heroics of his great mate Ian Poulter, who put in the best five holes of his career to win the anchor fourballs match with McIlroy. The deficit had been reduced to four overnight and there was at least a glimmer of hope.

Four matches in two days at a Ryder Cup is an awesome workload. Historically, only 25 per cent of those players who have done that go on to win their singles. But Rose still took his clubs back to his hotel and practised on the carpet in his room.

‘I was just hitting some putts and
thinking about things and something clicked to do with my grip pressure
that really paid off for me,’ he said.

Sunday morning dawned the same as so
many others for McIlroy when he is on the road. He picked up the phone
and talked to his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, who was competing in a
tennis tournament in Beijing. He went for a walk around the hotel to
kill time before retreating to his room on the 14th floor. McIlroy was
excited about the day and eager to find out how Americans like his
opponent Bradley, who had looked unbeatable with his partner Mickelson,
would fare on his own.

Imperious: McIlroy saw off the challenge of Bradley

Imperious: McIlroy saw off the challenge of Bradley

Captain marvel: Olazabal holds aloft the Ryder Cup

Captain marvel: Olazabal holds aloft the Ryder Cup

Back in the lobby, a few groupie fans
were moaning they hadn’t seen him leave. Maggie Budzar, manning the
transportation desk for the PGA of America, made up a white lie that he
had left but noticed his name had not been crossed off the list. She
phoned the course to see if he was there but was told he was not. She
rang the European Tour to alert them.

After ignoring a couple of calls from
numbers he didn’t recognise, McIlroy eventually answered one from his
manager, Conor Ridge.

‘Are you at the course’ asked Conor.

‘No, I’m not,’ replied McIlroy.

‘You’re teeing off in 25 minutes.’

‘No, I’m not, it’s an hour and 25.’

‘You’re taking the mick, you’re at the golf course.’

‘No, I’m not.’

‘Rory, listen to me, you need to get there.’

So it was that McIlroy sprinted into the lobby and found the state trooper who might have been the American star of the final day. With the emergency light on and every speed limit broken, McIlroy sat in the patrol car on the edge of panic.

‘It would have been bad enough missing my tee-time playing for myself but letting down all my team-mates and the whole of Europe I’ve never been so worried in my life,’ he confessed.

Bradley, a nice guy under that scarily intense demeanour, was worried McIlroy had been involved in an accident or had received bad news from home. They shared a laugh when McIlroy explained the real story.

Late arrival: McIlroy is greeted by Bradley at the first tee

Late arrival: McIlroy is greeted by Bradley at the first tee

Then the chanting began. McIlroy liked the one on the first tee: ‘Rory where are you Your tee-time is right now.’

But he soon grew tired of people
shouting at him and pointing to their watches. ‘/10/01/article-2211371-15494B58000005DC-876_634x366.jpg” width=”634″ height=”366″ alt=”Domino effect: Donald won the first point of the day against Watson” class=”blkBorder” />

Domino effect: Donald won the first point of the day against Watson

The miracle according to Twitter…

JUSTIN ROSE
@JustinRose99

‘No messing tonight!’

One of Europe’s star performers gets ready to party after tweeting a picture of the personalised bottles of champagne presented to the team

IAN POULTER
@IanJamesPoulter

‘On the plane on the way back to Orlando, why does it feel like we just robbed a bank. Not sure how long it will to take to sink in.’

The man of the tournament feeling slightly quilty after Europe’s smash and grab

RORY McILROY
@McIlroyRory

‘Wow!!!!!!! Did that just happen!!!! Unbelievable performance from all the boys today! Seve…..This one is for you!’

The world No 1 dedicates Europe’s win to the late, great Seve Ballesteros

PHIL NEVILLE
@fizzer18

‘Morning all, struggled sleeping after watching the Ryder cup last night, got to be the best sporting event on tv it never lets u down!’

The Everton star on a dramatic night

BUBBA WATSON
@bubbawatson

‘Wow! What a finish. Congrats to Europe! Seve would be proud.’

Bubba shows true dignity in defeat, while still managing to display his patriotic devotion

MICHAEL OWEN
@themichaelowen

‘Greatest Sporting Year ever Tour De France, Olympics, Champions League, epic end to Premiership, Andy Murray, Ryder Cup, just to name a few.’

Owen reflects on a memorable year

Rose, however, felt great and was
playing as such. He took an early two-hole lead as Europe got the start
they wanted. But it all started to change around the turn. He started
losing holes and his rhythm.

The crowd could sense his discomfort.
At the 12th he was facing a difficult bunker shot and was just taking
the club back when the Hannibal Lecter noises – hard to describe if you
haven’t seen the film, but suffice to say, very unpleasant if you’re
trying to play a shot – disrupted his concentration. An appalled
Mickelson pointed out the perpetrator to a marshal.

‘Are we all settled now’ asked Rose of the crowd.

‘It was really a gut check at that point,’ he added. ‘After that it became a battle and a test of how badly I wanted to win.’

The Americans had been banging on about this being the start of a Bradley-McIlroy rivalry and the pair will unquestionably have more duels in the future. But a rivalry at the top of the world rankings There’s no chance. McIlroy is head and shoulders above anyone else in golf and probably half an upper torso ahead of the valiant Bradley.

So it was that class told and McIlroy followed Donald, the admirable Paul Lawrie and the incredible Poulter in putting points on the board.

The trouble was, Dustin Johnson was beating Nicolas Colsaerts and Mickelson was standing over an eight-foot putt for a birdie at the par-four 15th, with Rose plugged in the bunker in two. It looked for all the world that Rose would be two down with three to play, but a fabulous bunker shot rescued a par and Mickelson missed his short birdie.

‘I dodged a bullet right there, no question about it,’ said Rose.

Mickelson got over his disappointment by holing a great 12-foot putt for par at the 16th. Now Rose was staring over one from 10 feet for a half. He holed it and let out an exultant cry. ‘The first big putt I’d holed all week,’ he said.

Walking to the 17th tee, he was thinking to himself that in normal circumstances he would have taken a halved match in a heartbeat.

‘I knew there was nothing normal about
this,’ he said. ‘I knew I had to win my match. /10/01/article-2211371-1548F8A5000005DC-687_634x388.jpg” width=”634″ height=”388″ alt=”Thriller: Mickelson (right) and Rose played out a thrilling match” class=”blkBorder” />

Thriller: Mickelson (right) and Rose played out a thrilling match

Both players were just over the green at the 17th, with Mickelson to play first. The man with the imperious short game had the flag taken out and thought his chip was going in until it veered off at the death. Then it was Rose, standing over a putt from 35 feet.

‘How often do they go in Once every 25 tries But I knew I’d hit a good putt and it was a fantastic feeling when it went in,’ said Rose.

So to the 18th, where Mickelson was left with a short putt for par and Rose had a 15-foot birdie effort to complete an improbable victory.

‘My legs were shaking so hard I could hardly feel them, but that putt told me putting is about heart and that if you’re strong enough in the head, it will override how your body is feeling,’ said Rose.

Champagne moment: Justin Rose tweeted a picture of the individual bottles handed to each player

Champagne moment: Justin Rose tweeted a picture of the individual bottles handed to each player

Champagne moment: Justin Rose tweeted a picture of the individual bottles handed to each player

‘When it went in, I looked at the Seve logo on my sleeve and thought of him. I was overjoyed. I turned to my team-mates in ecstasy but then I saw Phil and I didn’t want to rub it in his face. So there was a moment of calm out of respect as I shook his hand, and then it was joy.’

Rose’s gloriously unlikely victory was the sort that had to happen for a European success. Another came when Sergio Garcia, who had been outplayed by Jim Furyk, was the beneficiary as the American lost his nerve. Lee Westwood showed his mental strength to put two awful days behind him and claim a point against Matt Kuchar.

The home side were under unbearable pressure now. For them, it all came down to the two men who they thought would prove their most dependable partnership. First up was Steve Stricker. If he didn’t win, it didn’t matter what Tiger Woods did in the bottom match.

Standing opposite him was Kaymer. In the end it came down to that five-foot putt and Kaymer could not help but think of the eerie symmetry as he surveyed it from all angles. He could not help but recall that the only other Ryder Cup player from Germany had found himself in exactly the same situation.

Magic moment: Kaymer is mobbed by his team-mates after sinking the winning putt

Magic moment: Kaymer is mobbed by his team-mates after sinking the winning putt

Magic moment: Kaymer is mobbed by his team-mates after sinking the winning putt

Magic moment: Kaymer is mobbed by his team-mates after sinking the winning putt

For just a moment, he thought: ‘Oh no, it can’t be another German missing this putt, can it’
There is a reason why some players win majors and others who are equally gifted fall short, and it comes down to moments like this. Kaymer’s putt never looked like finishing anywhere but the middle of the hole.

So that was the story of Medinah and the final day of the Ryder Cup on September 30, 2012. A day fit to compare with any in even the rich and dramatic history of this unrivalled contest.

When it was over, the recriminations for the Americans began. But this was more about the team who lived up to their mentor Seve Ballesteros’s maxim never to give in, rather than the side who didn’t get the job done.

This was about men like McIlroy, Rose and Kaymer and their wildly exciting journeys to scale the summit of their sport.

History makers: Europe celebrating completing the greatest ever Ryder Cup comeback

History makers: Europe celebrating completing the greatest ever Ryder Cup comeback

History makers: Europe celebrating completing the greatest ever Ryder Cup comeback

Ryder Cup 2012: How the battle unfolded

Medinah Mayhem! How three days of unbelievable drama unfolded at Ryder Cup

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UPDATED:

23:52 GMT, 30 September 2012

ALL SQUARE

Session 1: Foursomes

Match of the session: McIlroy/ McDowell beat Furyk/Snedeker one up. All square after the 17th, Snedeker drives into the trees while McIlroy holds his nerve.

Shot of the session: McIlory holes from five yards off the fourth green with a gloriously judged chip that sparks four birdies in a row.

Holding his nerve: Rory McIlroy stood firm on day one

Holding his nerve: Rory McIlroy stood firm on day one

Pivotal moment: Jason Dufner putts for a birdie from 12 feet on the ninth that teeters on the edge of the hole before dropping, pulling the US level in his match.

Quote: 'I felt young and it felt great, I love playing with Keegan – I said to him a couple of times that I needed a pep talk and he'd tell me something to get me boosted right up.' – Phil Mickelson on Keegan Bradley.

Stat: Despite conceding five bogeys to three, and having four birdies each, Europe's Northern Ireland duo edge across the finish line.

USA: 2
EUROPE: 2

OMINOUS SIGNS

Session 2: Fourballs

Match of the session: Nicolas Colsaerts on his debut totally carries Lee Westwood and fends off the back nine improvement from Tiger Woods to clinch a one up victory.

Shot of the session: Mickelson drives into the trees then hits the shot of the day, threading the ball 200 yards around the 12th green's guardian tree to 10 feet.

Pivotal moment: Bubba Watson playing his drive off the first tee to hollering and clapping, which spooks the Europeans and sets the tone for the afternoon.

Debutant: Nicolas Colsaerts (left) carried Lee Westwood in the fourballs

Debutant: Nicolas Colsaerts (left) carried Lee Westwood in the fourballs

Quote: 'It was incredible, a pleasure to watch and I had the best seat in the house for the whole thing.

'It was one of those amazing days and he'll look back on it and smile.' – Westwood on Colsaerts.

Stat: Colsaerts hits eight birdies and an eagle, while Europe's other seven players in the session manage only 16 birdies between them.

USA: 5
EUROPE: 3

US TAKES CONTROL

Session 3: Foursomes

Match of the session: Justin Rose and the impressively rock steady Ian Poulter draw ahead on the back nine and hold on under intense pressure to win on the 18th.

Shot of the session: Mickelson stiffs it to within a foot of the pin from out of the semi-rough around 60 yards out on the first, giving momentum to the last three pairs.

Pivotal moment: Webb Simpson misses a simple four-foot putt on the 10th that puts Europe one up, a lead they never relinquish to prevent a whitewash.

Hold on: Ian Poulter and Justin Rose won in the foursomes

Hold on: Ian Poulter and Justin Rose won in the foursomes

Quote: 'I'm putting so much emotion into my rounds it's probably good I'm rested up for tomorrow's singles.' – Bradley, with a 3-0 record, having played only 44 holes.

Stat: Outside the Rose/Poulter match, in the three other games the Americans strike 12 birdies to Europe's six.

Sixteen pars and no bogeys for McIlroy/McDowell tells of missed chances.

USA 8
EUROPE 4

EUROPE HANG ON

Session 4: Fourballs

Match of the session: McIlroy/Poulter v Dufner/Johnson is the outstanding fourball of the event, culminating in the Europeans edging ahead on the 17th and clinging on to their lead.

Shot of the session: Poulter caps a memorable display by birdieing the last five holes, the best of which being a 12-foot putt on the 18th.

American fans on the final green wait to salute a half but Poulter's stunning birdie matches that already sunk by Dufner.

Come here: Poulter and McIlroy celebrated beating Dufner/Johnson

Come here: Poulter and McIlroy celebrated beating Dufner/Johnson

Pivotal moment: On the picturesque 17th green, Colsaerts lips out, allowing Dustin Johnson to sink a 15-footer to put the Americans one up.

A hole later they have the symbolic 10 points.

Quote: 'It comes from within. If we can do anything to get this trophy from this position, and Seve is looking down on us, then you've got to do what you've got to do.' – Poulter on his source of inspiration.

Stat: Since 1979, one team have reached 10 points or more from the first two days six times and only once – the Europeans at Brookline in 1999 – have that team gone on to lose on the final day.

USA: 10 EUROPE: 6

THE COUP de GRACE

Session 5: Singles

Match of the session: Superb quality from Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson, who in the original nip-and-tuck game win 10 holes between them with birdies against just two bogeys.

Nerves of steel: Martin Kaymer held firm and putted on the 18th to ensure Europe retained the Ryder Cup

Nerves of steel: Martin Kaymer held firm and putted on the 18th to ensure Europe retained the Ryder Cup

Shot of the session: Rose's winding downhill 30-foot putt on the 17th gives him the birdie which puts him level with Mickelson and allows him to pounce for victory on the 18th.

Pivotal moment: Jim Furyk's missed eight foot putt at the last gives Europe a 13-12 lead, the first time they have been ahead.

Quote: 'An unbelievable week. Seve has been trying hard for us.' – Europe's hero, Ian Poulter

Stat: The four players to whom it all came down at the end were 0-9 for the weekend going into yesterday. Fortunately for Europe, Kaymer came good.

FINAL SCORE:
USA: 13
EUROPE: 14

Ryder Cup 2012: Rory McIlroy and tiger Woods kept apart as Luke Donald leads Europe out on final day

McIlroy and Woods kept apart as Donald leads Europe out on final day against Watson

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UPDATED:

01:52 GMT, 30 September 2012

Teeing it off: Donald

Teeing it off: Donald

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will not face each other for the second Ryder Cup in a row.

American captain Davis Love has put Woods out last in Sunday's singles, while world number one McIlroy is out third against unbeaten Keegan Bradley as Europe try to claw back their four-point deficit.

Luke Donald leads things off for Jose Maria Olazabal's side and will play Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Saturday hero Ian Poulter, who like Bradley has won his first three games, follows against US Open champion Webb Simpson.

Woods faces Francesco Molinari just as he did at Celtic Manor two years ago. The Italian lost 4&3.

Draw for the final day (all times BST)

17.03 Bubba Watson v Luke Donald
17.14 Webb Simpson v Ian Poulter
17.25 Keegan Bradley v Rory McIlroy
17.36 Phil Mickelson v Justin Rose
17.47 Brandt Snedeker v Paul Lawrie
17.58 Dustin Johnson v Nicolas Colsaerts
18.09 Zach Johnson v Graeme McDowell
18.20 Jim Furyk v Sergio Garcia
18.31 Jason Dufner v Peter Hanson
18.42 Matt Kuchar v Lee Westwood
18.53 Steve Stricker v Martin Kaymer
19.04 Tiger Woods v Francesco Molinari

Ryder Cup 2012: Lee Westwood"s worst day

Westwood's worst day as rut continues with heaviest defeat of Ryder Cup career

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UPDATED:

20:06 GMT, 29 September 2012

Slump: Westwood's form deserts him

Slump: Westwood's form deserts him

Lee Westwood suffered the heaviest defeat of his 15-year-old Ryder Cup career in the second lot of foursomes at Medinah.

And his form in the first three sessions suggests the 39-year-old is struggling to live up to his role as father figure of Europe’s team.

On Friday, the former world number one scored a valuable fourball point as he and Nicolas Colsaerts beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker on the 18th green, but he admitted the 29-year-old Belgian rookie was key with eight birdies and an eagle. ‘I’d the best seat in the house and it was a joy to watch.’

But Westwood’s poor run of form continued as he and Luke Donald were hit seven and six by Phil Mickleson and Keegan Bradley yesterday.

That equalled the heaviest loss in the Ryder Cup suffered by Nick Faldo and David Gilford by Paul Azinger and Mark O’Meara in 1991.