Tag Archives: mickelson

The Masters: Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in our five of the best at Augusta National

The Masters: An old Golden Bear and a young Tiger plus Faldo, Mickelson and Crenshaw – five of the best at Augusta

PUBLISHED:

08:59 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:59 GMT, 8 April 2013

The Masters almost always produces dramatic golf worthy of the beautiful backdrop of Augusta National.

Here, Sportsmail picks out five of the most memorable tournaments starting with the legend that is Jack Nicklaus way back in 1986.

1) 1986 – Jack Nicklaus

Nicklaus was 46, had not won a tournament in two years or a major in six, and was being written off as a spent force. But the Golden Bear produced one more back-nine charge in the 50th Masters, coming home in 30 for a final round of 65 to beat Greg Norman and Tom Kite by a single shot.

Nicklaus went eagle-birdie-birdie on the 15th, 16th and 17th as Seve Ballesteros squandered the lead by hitting his approach to the 15th into the water short of the green.

Dry Spell: Jack Nicklaus' win in 1986 was his first victory in a major in six years

Dry Spell: Jack Nicklaus' win in 1986 was his first victory in a major in six years

Handing over: Bernhard Langer (left) hands Nickalus his sixth Green Jacket

Handing over: Bernhard Langer (left) hands Nickalus his sixth Green Jacket

2) 1997 – Tiger Woods

Kite was again the runner-up 11 years later, but this time by an incredible 12 shots as Woods tore up the record books to claim his first major title. That had looked distinctly unlikely as the 21-year-old played the front nine of his opening round in 40, but he came back in 30 to lie just three shots off the lead.

A second-round 66 took Woods three clear of Colin Montgomerie, a lead he extended to nine shots after round three and a record 12 after a closing 69 made him the youngest ever winner at Augusta.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Passing the torch: Tiger Woods tore up the record books to win his first title at just 21-years-old

3) 2004 – Phil Mickelson

'I don't think any Masters will ever compare to the '86 Masters but, for me, this one does.'

That was the verdict of an emotional Mickelson after he had broken his major duck at the 47th time of asking. Mickelson had shared the lead with Chris Di Marco heading into the final round, but struggled to a front-nine 38 before a brilliant back nine of 31, culminating in a decisive birdie on the 18th, was enough to beat Ernie Els by a shot after the South African's excellent 67.

Crowd Pleaser: Phil Mickelson broke his major duck at the 47th time of asking

Crowd pleaser: Phil Mickelson broke his major duck at the 47th time of asking

Only just: A decisive birdie on the 18th hole gave Mickelson the title by just a single shot

Only just: A decisive birdie on the 18th hole gave Mickelson the title by just a single shot

4) 1995 – Ben Crenshaw

At 43, Crenshaw was not quite as old as Nicklaus in 1986, but his second Masters title in 1995 was equally remarkable and emotional.

Harvey Penick, who was Crenshaw's golf coach since he was seven years old, had died the week before and Crenshaw spent the Tuesday of Masters week at Penick's funeral in Austin, Texas.

The image of Crenshaw doubled over in grief and happiness after his final putt dropped – he did not have a single three-putt in 72 holes – has become an iconic Augusta image.

Ben Crenshaw

Ben Crenshaw

Emotional: Ben Crenshaw is hugged by his caddy Carl Jackson after winning for the second time at AQugusta National. Harvey Penick, who had coached Crenshaw since he was seven, died a week before the tournament

5) 1996 – Nick Faldo

Greg Norman had finished third behind Crenshaw in 1995, but it was the manner of his second-place finish to Nick Faldo the following year which was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Norman led from the outset after an opening 63, the joint lowest score ever in a major championship and only the second 63 ever at Augusta, and after adding rounds of 69 and 71 he was six shots clear of Faldo heading into the final round.

However, his lead was down to two shots by the turn and a back nine of 40 – despite two birdies – meant a closing 78 to Faldo's 67 and a five-shot winning margin for the Englishman.

Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo

Picking up the pieces: Nick Faldo took advantage of an awful final round from Greg Norman to win in 1996

Luke Donald misses the cut in Malaysian Open

Donald loses proud record as his Masters build-up takes knock in Malaysia

By
Derek Lawrenson

PUBLISHED:

11:49 GMT, 23 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 23 March 2013

Poor form: Luke Donald missed the cut in Malaysia

Poor form: Luke Donald missed the cut in Malaysia

They were playing in tournaments thousands of miles apart, but Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson headed home united by one common thought: with the Masters less than three weeks away, they have plenty of work to do.

Donald crashed out of the Malaysian Open at the halfway stage on Saturday to spoil one of the things he was most proud about in his career.

It was the first time he had ever missed a halfway cut in a European Tour event.

'I guess all good runs come to an end eventually, but I'm hugely disappointed,' he said.

Mickelson looked positively shattered after running up a horrific 79 in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

'I just played terribly,' he said. Only three times in his last 12 Masters appearances has the three-time champion finished outside the top five, but the gifted lefty sounded like a man who did not expect to keep that remarkable run going.

He also had a dig at the PGA Tour for changing the schedule this year. Instead of the Houston Open – a tournament Mickelson loves – being the event before the Masters, it will be the Texas Open.

'Personally, I like playing on a course the week before that's similar, but the Texas Open layout is tight and it's windy, and that's not conducive to getting ready for Augusta,' he said.

'That makes it difficult for me. I find when I take a week off I come out and play like I did here – not mentally sharp. That's not good at the Masters, where you have to be sharp out of the gate.'

Donald's first missed cut on the European Tour came in his 119th start, stretching back a decade, and followed poor rounds of 74 and 73 to fall short by three shots as he struggled to read the slow greens at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

'I've got two weeks at home now and I'm going to have to be diligent in my Masters preparation,' he said.

Two up: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand claimed a two shot lead in the second round

Two up: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand claimed a two shot lead in the second round

Leaderboard

Click here for the latest standings

'It's true we've all seen players
who are seemingly out of form go and have a good week at the Masters,
but I need my scoring clubs – from 100 yards and in – to be better than
they have been.'

Meanwhile, as the third round of the
Arnold Palmer Invitational got underway at Bay Hill yesterday, Lee
Westwood did not improve his position among the back markers with a 72,
while Graeme McDowell is almost propping up the field after a 75.

One of the best early moves came from
Scot Martin Laird, a former winner of this event, who shot 68 to leap
up 35 places into the top 40.

Englishman Justin Rose began his third round tied for the lead with American Bill Haas, while Tiger Woods was four back.

Here in style: Charl Schwartzel of South Africa arrives in a helicopter on Saturday

Here in style: Charl Schwartzel of South Africa arrives in a helicopter on Saturday

Canada's Mike Weir, winner of the 2003 Masters, withdrew with a rib injury.

Weir, who was looking forward to
celebrating the 10th anniversary of his only major win at Augusta next
month, walked off the Bay Hill course after going four over through 11
holes.

Playing on a career money earnings
exemption after three barren injury-plagued seasons, Weir had begun to
show signs of turning his game around after making the cut for only the
fifth time in a PGA Tour event over the past three years.

Three of those have been this season, with a best finish of tied 50th at Pebble Beach.

'I'm feeling closer,' he said after his opening round on Thursday.

'It's not easy, but it's part of the game. I want to compete and that makes the hard work easier. I still love the game.'

Weir had been scheduled to play the Houston Open next week in his final competitive tune-up before the year's first major.

Lee Westwood paired with Vijay Singh at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am

Westwood paired with Singh in Pebble Beach… should former world No 1 play

/02_02/bn_golfblog_308x76.jpg” alt=”Golf blog” width=”308″ height=”76″ title=”” />

Harrington came joint seventh in the
individual event and is back now to try to improve on that in a line-up
headed by defending champion and last week’s winner Phil Mickelson.

The left-hander almost broke 60 last
Thursday, but he has fond memories too of the closing 64 last year
because it came as playing partner Tiger Woods was taking 75.

Woods, who won at Torrey Pines a fortnight ago, is not back to attempt revenge.

Harrington plays the opening round at
Spyglass Hill – three courses are used – with Spaniard Rafael Cabrera
Bello, another to make the long journey from Dubai, while Mickelson,
seeking a record-equalling fifth victory in the tournament, is at
Monterey Peninsular with fellow Australian Rod Pampling.

Ian Poulter wins WGC HSBC Championship in China

Poulter comes from four behind to win HSBC Champions title by two shots

|

UPDATED:

10:57 GMT, 4 November 2012

Ian Poulter joked about taking two years off after his Ryder Cup heroics. Now he is glad he didn't.

Five weeks on from his unbeaten performance in the victory over the Americans, the 36-year-old today joined Darren Clarke as the only Europeans to win two World Golf Championship titles.

Poulter trailed by nine shots halfway through the HSBC Champions at Mission Hills in China, but two closing rounds of 65 gave him a two-stroke triumph over Open champion Ernie Els and Americans Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner and Scott Piercy.

Winning in style: Ian Poulter came from four shots down to win the HSBC Champions title

Winning in style: Ian Poulter came from four shots down to win the HSBC Champions title

Sealed with a kiss: Poulter won the title for the second time in his career

Sealed with a kiss: Poulter won the title for the second time in his career

'It's so nice to get my hands on another trophy,' said Poulter, whose last individual success was the Australian Masters last December.

HSBC Champions leaderboard

Click here to see the full leaderboard

'I've been in good form for a while and knew if I did the right things and stayed patient I would be right there. It's been an amazing six weeks.'

What he could not have expected, however, was for both overnight leaders Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen to finish so poorly.

After a third round 61 had brought him level Westwood went three clear early on, but double-bogeyed the short fifth and had three back nine bogeys.

Well done: Poulter is congratulated by Ernie Els

Well done: Poulter is congratulated by Ernie Els

Falling behind: Lee Westwood was the joint leader overnight but could not hold on in the final round

Falling behind: Lee Westwood was the joint leader overnight but could not hold on in the final round

That makes it a total of 100 majors and world championships in his career and the 39-year-old has yet to win one.

Oosthuizen, five clear of the field after 36 holes, also shot only a level par 72 on the low-scoring lay-out and so they dropped back into a tie for sixth place.

Poulter's performance certainly put a smile back on his face after he had let off steam on Twitter on Saturday night about Arsenal's performance at Manchester United.

'Simply not good enough,' he told his 1.3million followers. 'This is not an Arsenal side that can compete. But they are making a profit. I guess someone is happy.

'Bored of watching this s***. Not in the same league. Won't finish top six.'

Chip for glory: Poulter hits a shot on the 17th fairway

Chip for glory: Poulter hits a shot on the 17th fairway

Driving to success: Poulter came out on top in China

Driving to success: Poulter came out on top in China

Poulter was in a tie for fourth with 18 holes to go on the course designed by Ryder Cup captain Jose

Maria Olazabal and still two back despite a front nine 32.

But while Westwood then bogeyed the 10th, 12th and long 15th – a chip from just short of the green rolled down a bank and he thinned his next attempt – his fellow Englishman kept his foot on the accelerator.

An 18-foot putt gave Poulter a fifth birdie of the day on the 10th, he two-putted from the fringe on the 568-yard next and at the 15th he was bunkered in two, but holed another 18-footer.

Following the dragon: Poulter and Els before the trophy presentation

Following the dragon: Poulter and Els before the trophy presentation

Mickelson, Els and defending champion Martin Kaymer had become his biggest dangers by then, but the German's chances went when he fell from joint second to ninth with a triple-bogey on the short 17th.

After finding sand off the tee Kaymer went over the green, then chipped back into the bunker he had just left.

Poulter's lead came down from three to one when Mickelson also birdied the 15th and he bogeyed the 17th, failing to get up and down from right of the green.

Chasing pack: Louis Oosthuizen came sixth

Chasing pack: Louis Oosthuizen came sixth

But the three-time Masters champion took four on the 17th himself, duffing a chip that did not even make the green.

Poulter's bunkered approach to the 460-yard last meant there was still work to be done, but after playing partner Els had just failed with a 45-foot birdie attempt he holed from nine feet for a 21 under par total.

That left Mickelson having to hole his second shot to force a play-off, but he could only par and so with a 68 he had to share the runner-up spot with Els (67), Dufner (64) and Piercy (65).

Poulter was, of course, the happiest man given the fact that world top two Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both turned the event down. He is now back into the top 20

McIlroy was quickly on with congratulations to his Ryder Cup team-mate, who earned over 743,000 for his week's work.

In the pack: US golfer Phil Mickelson was unable to mount a challenge for the title

In the pack: US golfer Phil Mickelson was unable to mount a challenge for the title

'Ballsy up and down at the last,' said the northern Irishman on Twitter, who preferred to watch his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki play tennis in Bulgaria. 'Wouldn't expect anything less!'

Poulter added: 'It still doesn't give you the kind of same buzz you get playing the Ryder Cup. There's just not quite as much adrenaline in the body.

'I definitely think it is a part continuation of the Ryder Cup and I'm obviously riding that wave as much as I possibly can.

'After two days I felt I was probably too far back with the way Louis was playing, but anything is possible on this course once you get the putter warm and it is hard to close out tournaments sometimes.'

Talking a good game: Poulter show his delight while speaking to the Press after the tournament

Talking a good game: Poulter show his delight while speaking to the Press after the tournament

Two world championships are great, of course, but a major is the biggest dream.

'People keep asking all the time 'when, when, when'. I don't know when and I'm trying really hard – I'll do my best next year.'

With Peter Hanson and Justin Rose only sharing 24th place, McIlroy holds a massive lead of more than 600,000 in the European Tour money list race with only three weeks left – and he is playing all of them.

Mickelson is also at next week's Singapore Open and he said: 'I'll see if I can improve one spot there.
'It was good for me to come back after having not played since the Ryder Cup and pick up where I left off.

'I knew I needed to make some birdies, but the pins were very tough to get close to.'

Els contented himself with a near-miss on his return from an ankle injury.

'It's sore, don't get me wrong, and it was a bit of a physical test for me, but a good week,' he stated.

'And I almost made him think there on 18!'

Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen lead HSBC Champions

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

|

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

Golf blog

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.

Ryder Cup 2012: Justin Rose and Euro stars get stuck into champagne

No messing! Euro stars get stuck in to fizz as Rose and Poulter lead Ryder Cup party

|

UPDATED:

10:49 GMT, 1 October 2012

Team Europe were in the mood for a well-deserved party after seeing off the Americans to keep hold of the Ryder Cup.

Jose Maria Olazabal's troops came through 14-13 after a remarkable Sunday session at Medinah – winning eight of the 12 singles matches.

Luke Donald went out first and made the perfect start against Bubba Watson. And after his team-mates followed him in with big performances, the Englishman tweeted: 'What a day, what a week, what a comeback. Words can't express the emotions of the last few hours. Proud of everyone on Team Europe. Now time to party…'

They've got the bottle: Ryder Cup stars enjoyed champagne with their names on the label

They've got the bottle: Ryder Cup stars enjoyed champagne with their names on the label

Sportsmail at the Ryder Cup

Martin Samuel: It might get even harder, but it can't get any better than this

VIDEO: Watch highlights of Europe's win

Donald's fellow countryman Justin Rose, who beat Phil Mickelson with a storming finish to his round, was also ready to let his hair down.

He said: 'No messing tonight,' before tweeting a picture of some champagne bottles with the players' names on them.

Ian Poulter was the main man for Europe,
winning all four of his matches as he carried on his love affair with
the Ryder Cup and took his overall record to 12 wins and three defeats.

Thirsty work: Ian Poulter enjoys a drink as he celebrates with the Ryder Cup

Thirsty work: Ian Poulter enjoys a drink as he celebrates with the Ryder Cup

Poulter was pictured enjoying himself on Sunday night with a drink in one hand and the famous trophy in the other.

Lee Westwood paid tribute to Poulter as he joked: 'We have actually revised the qualification for next time. It's nine (qualifying) spots, two picks and Poults. It's the Poults clause.'

It was Martin Kaymer who sparked the celebrations when he won the decisive 14th point in the match with Steve Stricker. Kaymer kept his nerve to hole from six feet and secure the win one up.

All smiles: Martin Kaymer, who holed the decisive putt, with caddie Craig Connelly

All smiles: Martin Kaymer, who holed the decisive putt, with caddie Craig Connelly

The German was also keen to be pictured with the prize after playing his part in the success and Rose tweeted a snap of him with caddie Craig Connelly.

The day started in dramatic fashion with Rory McIlroy almost missing his tee time.

The world No 1 checked his time on a phone app that was set to Eastern rather than Central time, which is an hour different.

Champagne moment: (From left) Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald and Justin Rose start the party at Medinah

Champagne moment: (From left) Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald and Justin Rose start the party at Medinah

He made it to the course in the nick of time thanks to a police escort, arriving 10 minutes early to practise a few putts, find his shoes and eat an energy bar as a makeshift breakfast.

McIlroy never let the mix-up bother him and the Northern Irishman was a 2&1 winner over the in-form Keegan Bradley.

Perfect putt: Rose celebrates draining one from distance at the 17th

Perfect putt: Rose celebrates draining one from distance at the 17th

Donald had already won his game, Poulter has beaten Webb Simpson and with Rose dumping Lefty and Paul Lawrie proving too good for FedEx champion Brandt Snedeker, Europe, who had been 33-1 with some bookies earlier in the day, had wiped out the overnight deficit.

Westwood and Sergio Garcia also won before Kaymer's big moment and the pressure was off Francesco Molinari in his final match with Tiger Woods. The 14-time major champion conceded a short putt as Molinari earned a half.

Glory boys: Skipper Jose Maria Olazabal is surrounded by his winning European players

Glory boys: Skipper Jose Maria Olazabal is surrounded by his winning European players

Tiger Woods: Salvaging draw wasn"t worth it

Dejected Woods admits turning his back on 18th green because tie felt worthless

|

UPDATED:

07:45 GMT, 1 October 2012

Tiger Woods claimed neither he nor the United States team were interested salvaging a tie from the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah.

After Europe produced a stunning fightback to reach the 14 points they required to retain the cup near Chicago, Woods knew heading to the 18th tee he could no longer affect the trophy's destiny.

But by holding on to his one-hole lead in the final match, the former world No 1 could at least have ensured the scoreline finished 14-14.

No roar: Tiger Woods was left to rue a wasteful day by Team USA

No roar: Tiger Woods was left to rue a wasteful day by Team USA

He had the opportunity to do that but after missing a putt to beat Francesco Molinari, he then conceded the hole to the Italian and handed Europe an outright 14.5-13.5 win.

Woods said: 'It was already over. We came here as a team – this is a team event. And the cup was already been retained by Europe, so it was already over.

Yanks but no thanks: Woods concedes to Francesco Molinari

Yanks but no thanks: Woods concedes to Francesco Molinari

'You come here as a team and you win or
lose as a team, and it's pointless to even finish. So 18 was just, hey,
get this over with. Congratulations to the European team. They played
fantastic and they deserve the cup.'

That incident rounded off a dismal three days for Woods in which he failed to win a single match.

The 36-year-old 14-time major winner lost three times in partnership with Steve Stricker on Friday and Saturday and was even stood down for a match for the first time in his career.

Captain Davis Love faced further questions over his decision to rest Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, after the pair enjoyed three wins together, for the Saturday afternoon fourballs.

But over the course of the three days, Love felt he had done everything he could to secure victory – after all, his side had led 10-6 heading into the singles.

Love said: 'I wouldn't have done anything different, they played great. They did everything we asked them to do, and I can honestly say that I've been a part of a lot of teams and I've never seen a team of golfers like this, and I'm proud of them.

Just champion: Team Europe produced a stunning final day comeback

Just champion: Team Europe produced a stunning final day comeback

'It was certainly a difficult loss. I think any Ryder Cup loss is difficult. There are some guys on this team that have lost before and it's never fun any way it happens. This was certainly not what we expected.

'They got beat by some holed putts, chip-ins, some incredible shots, and some matches got flipped at the end on long putts and great saves by the other team.

'I have to congratulate Europe on the way they played, they played great.'

Ryder Cup 2012: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson battle for the record nobody wants

Tiger and Phil battle for the record nobody wants on thrilling final day at Medinah

|

UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 30 September 2012

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were battling over an unwelcome Ryder Cup record on Sunday – as the American who has suffered the most defeats in the event.

Woods suffered his third loss of the week in Saturday's fourballs alongside Steve Stricker, beaten on the 18th green by Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald.

That was the former World No 1's 17th Ryder Cup loss and at the time matched the total of Mickelson, who famously lost twice on the opening day at Oakland Hills in 2004 when paired with Woods.

Handing it to him: Tiger Woods (left) conceded the final hole against Francesco Molinari

Handing it to him: Tiger Woods (left) conceded the final hole against Francesco Molinari

RYDER CUP 2012

Click here to read the full report from Medinah

The pair held the joint record overnight – until Mickelson was stunned on the final green by Justin Rose in the singles last night, making him top of the charts with 18 losses.

Woods has struggled here and his old coach Butch Harmon admits to being 'speechless' at some of the shots he played on Saturday.

And on Sunday, he was sent out last by captain Davis Love in the decisive singles facing Italian Francesco Molinari.

Woods had insisted he was 'absolutely' fine with Love's decision to leave him out on Saturday morning, adding: 'It was nice to be fresh, no doubt.

'This is a long grind to go all five. I've done it before and it's hard. I felt great and it was nice to kind of sleep in and get a little bit of rest.

The record nobody wants: Phil Mickelson (pictured) and Woods were battling to be the American with most losses in the Ryder Cup

The record nobody wants: Phil Mickelson (pictured) and Woods were battling to be the American with most losses in the Ryder Cup

'I watched the guys on TV and tried to get out here and watch them a little bit (but) captain says, “Hey, it's cold out here, stay inside, stay warm and be ready for your match”.'

'I put so much effort into that last match yesterday afternoon, I was pretty spent. Five matches in three days is a lot, and hey, I'm not young anymore. I'm one of the older guys.'

Asked about his form, Woods added: 'I've played well the last two afternoons and didn't get a point.

It's tough. 'I'm feeling good about my game but just, unfortunately, haven't got a point.

'I played terrible in the morning, really, really struggled. I turned around in the afternoon and we ran into a guy (Nicolas Colsaerts) who made more putts than anyone I've ever seen.'

Just didn't happen: Woods was left out on Saturday morning by Davis Love

Just didn't happen: Woods was left out on Saturday morning by Davis Love

Ryder Cup 2012: Sergio Garcia says Seve Ballesteros inspired Europe to victory

Seve took us to glory: Garcia believes legendary Spaniard guided Europe to unlikely victory

|

UPDATED:

00:32 GMT, 1 October 2012

Europe's triumphant players had Seve Ballesteros on their minds after their remarkable Ryder Cup victory in Medinah.

The team wore the colours so associated with Ballesteros – a navy jumper, trousers and white shirt – in Sunday's singles, with an iconic silhouette of the five-time major winner on their shirt sleeves.

The image recreates Ballesteros' most famous pose, a clenched-fist salute to the crowd after holing the winning putt in the 1984 Open Championship at St Andrews, an image the Spaniard used for his own company and had tattooed on his left arm.

Champagne moment: Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup

Champagne moment: Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup

Ballesteros, who captained Europe to victory in his native Spain in 1997 after playing in the biennial contest eight times, died in May last year after a long illness, but was always going to be a key figure during the captaincy of his cup partner Jose Maria Olazabal.

'I have no doubt in my mind that he was with me today all day, because there's no chance I would have won my match if he wasn't there,' said Sergio Garcia, who won the last two holes to claim a crucial win over Jim Furyk.

'It was amazing and it feels so good to be able to win it for him and for our captain, Jose; it's been amazing.'

Viva Espana: Garcia celebrates with the fans

Viva Espana: Garcia celebrates with the fans

Justin Rose had spoken fondly about Ballesteros earlier in the week, remembering how the five-time major winner had consoled him during the run of 21 consecutive missed cuts at the start of his professional career.

And after also winning the last two holes – both with birdies – to beat Phil Mickelson, the Englishman added: 'In the moment you've got to do what you've got to do, but as soon as I holed that putt (on the 18th), as soon as I came off the green, my first thought has been to Seve, absolutely.

Severiano Ballesteros

Ian Poulter

Inspired by Seve: Europe wore all blue clothes like those made famous by the Spaniard during his playing days

'I had a glance down and looked at my left sleeve and that's the kind of stuff he would have done today.'

Speaking before the remarkable comeback had been completed, Rose added: 'He's been an inspiration for this team all week long and who knows, if something crazy happens today, I know that we are going to be looking upwards.'

Ian Poulter was another European player to win the last two holes of his match, making it four wins out of four and an amazing 12 wins in his 15 Ryder Cup matches.

Sealed with a kiss: Captain Jose Maria Olazabal is presented with the Ryder Cup

Sealed with a kiss: Captain Jose Maria Olazabal is presented with the Ryder Cup

'This was a team performance and the team have done an unbelievable job,' said Poulter, one of Olazabal's two wild cards. 'There was a buzz in the team room last night that didn't feel like we had a four-point deficit.

'For some reason, everyone was calm. Everyone was cracking jokes. We just felt we had that tiny little chance and the boys have proved it today and made history. It has been unbelievable.

'My captain picked me to come and play and I owe it to him, and Seve, to be here today. It's pretty special.'

Ryder Cup 2012: How the battle unfolded

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

|

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