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Jose Maria Olazabal in Ryder Cup captain"s buggy at Spanish Open

Olazabal has best drive at Spanish Open with signed Ryder Cup captain's buggy

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

15:01 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:55 GMT, 17 April 2013

Jose Maria Olazabal has a cool set of wheels at the Spanish Open with the former Ryder Cup captain cruising around in his skipper's buggy.

Olazabal masterminded Europe's win over the United States at Medinah last year and all 12 of his players signed the front of his cart.

Sergio Garcia and Francesco Molinari are the only two of Olazabal's troops teeing it up in Valencia this week – the former the bookies' favourite and the latter the defending champion.

Home hopes: Jose Maria Olazabal (right) and Sergio Garcia at Parador de El Saler for the Spanish Open

Home hopes: Jose Maria Olazabal (right) and Sergio Garcia at Parador de El Saler for the Spanish Open

Garcia, who finished in a tie for eighth at The Masters on Sunday, was all smiles as he hitched a lift with Olazabal during Wednesday's practice at Parador de El Saler.

Meanwhile, Miguel Angel Jimenez will put his recovery from a broken leg to the test on his return to action in Valencia.

Jimenez, who surpassed Des Smyth as the oldest winner on the European Tour when he lifted the Hong Kong Open aged 48 years and 318 days last November, suffered the injury a month later while skiing near his home in Malaga.

'My leg is improving daily,' the 49-year-old told reporters. 'I work out every morning in the gym and I'm actually a little ahead of schedule on my rehab. I am not one hundred per cent fit, but I want to test myself and see how I feel.

Good to be back: Miguel Angel Jimenez is making his return to action after recovering from a broken leg

Good to be back: Miguel Angel Jimenez is making his return to action after recovering from a broken leg

'I can't wait to be back on Tour with my friends and I'd hate to miss the chance of playing at El Saler.'

Jimenez made his tour debut in the Spanish Open 30 years ago and will be making his 599th career appearance this week.

'Javier Arana's wonderful design blends beautifully with its natural surroundings, both in the pine trees area and in the dunes area. For me it's the best course in Spain and I love all the holes,' Jimenez added.

'It's a beautiful layout with a strong finish; the 17th is a good par three towards the dunes and the 18th is spectacular. Once you play at El Saler you get hooked. It's such an enjoyable course that you keep wanting to come back.

'I have many fond memories of El Saler. We used to play many tournaments in the 80's and I won an Under-25 event in 1986. We also played two or three Campeonatos de Levante, and later on a few European Tour events. The last I played was the 2003 Seve Trophy.'

Different ball game: Garcia and his dad Victor watch former tennis ace Juan Carlos Ferrero during the pro-am

Different ball game: Garcia and his dad Victor watch former tennis ace Juan Carlos Ferrero during the pro-am

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.

Nedbank Challenge: Paul Lawrie grabs halfway lead at Sun City

Lawrie grabs halfway lead at Sun City but Kaymer and Westwood lurk

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UPDATED:

19:32 GMT, 30 November 2012

Scotland's Paul Lawrie is the one-shot leader at the halfway stage of the Nedbank Challenge, with his three-under-par 69 giving him the edge at Sun City.

The Ryder Cup winner takes the slenderest of advantages into the third day, with Martin Kaymer a shot behind.

Four players then trail on one under; Bill Haas, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, with two-time defending champion Lee Westwood on level par.

Great Scot: Paul Lawrie shot a second round 69 in testing cconditions in the Nedbank Golf Challenge

Great Scot: Paul Lawrie shot a second round 69 in testing cconditions in the Nedbank Golf Challenge

Great Scot: Paul Lawrie shot a second round 69 in testing cconditions in the Nedbank Golf Challenge

Behind him is Peter Hanson (one over), before a real gap to the rest, with Carl Pettersson three over, Nicolas Colsaerts and Garth Mulroy four over and finally, Justin Rose, a further four shots back.

It was a horror day for the Englishman, a seven-over 79 not amongst his finest rounds, but Lawrie will at least sleep easy tonight after his 69.

Nedbank Challenge

Round one – Colsaerts puts Ryder Cup pals in the shade to lead

He could have signed for an even better score too, with a bogey on the 15th-hole par four stopping him from registering the outright best round of the day.

Kaymer also carded a 69 consisting of five birdies and two bogeys, while Westwood, looking for a third successive win at the event, was left to rue a bogey and a double-bogey six at the par-four 16th as he ended one over for the day.

He had little on compatriot Rose, though, whose score was heavily undermined by a triple bogey on the par-four third. Lawrie's controlled round was all the more impressive considering the wind which ripped around the course.

In the chase: Lee Westwood (above) and Martin Kaymer (below) in action at the Gary Player Country Club

In chase: Lee Westwood (above) and Martin Kaymer (below) in action at the Gary Player Country Club

In the chase: Lee Westwood (above) and Martin Kaymer (below) in action at the Gary Player Country Club

Save for a couple of close shaves with the putter, he could have done even better.

'I played nicely, I struggled a bit with the driver so I hit a lot of three-woods off the tees. I hit my three-wood pretty far, but I also hit a lot of good shots with my irons. The greens are a little slower and I left a few putts out there,' he said.

'The wind was swirling, and it was quite difficult. It was chopping and changing – a little bit like Augusta. It is difficult to get the distance right this week, but so far we only got a couple wrong so we've done okay.'

In such a compact field, though, he knows he has little time to relax.

'The leaderboard is pretty damn packed, and pretty close together,' he added. 'There is still a lot of golf to play and a lot of time for guys to come back who struggled in the first two days. So far, so good for me, but there is still a long way to go.'

Luke Donald aiming for 499 puts out of 500

In short, Donald is supreme: Golfer closes in on almost-perfect putting milestone

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 22 November 2012

Last year, Luke Donald went 449 holes without a three-putt. This year’s amazing illustration of the Englishman’s prowess on the greens isn’t bad either.

Sometime on Friday, if all goes to plan at the Dubai World Championship, Donald will complete 500 putts inside 3ft, with 499 of them successfully holed.

Think about that for a second. All those putts of smelly length on devilishly fast greens with the flags usually located in mischievous spots. And he has missed just one

How about that Luke Donald is close to an astonishing 499 out of 500 holes putted within 3ft

How about that Luke Donald is close to an astonishing 499 out of 500 holes putted within 3ft

DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

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‘One of the things that both those stats
show is how hard I’ve worked on my lag (long) putting, and making sure I
don’t leave myself too many difficult second putts,’ he said.

It is not only from short distance
that Donald is so good, of course. Give him greens as pure as these at
the Earth course and he will invariably hole more than his fair share
from any distance.

Out in front: Donald is the leader after round one of the DP World Tour Championship

Out in front: Donald is the leader after round one of the DP World Tour Championship

That was certainly the case on Thursday
as he followed up the three 66s with which he finished last year’s
event with a 65 to take the first-round lead.

This time last year Donald was fending
off Rory McIlroy to clinch the Race to Dubai.

That title has already
been sewn up this time by the latter, of course, but given the form of
the world’s top two there must be a chance of a thrilling duel on Sunday
for the other trophy on offer here, after McIlroy opened with a fairly
effortless 66 to be tied second with Scot Marc Warren and Spaniard
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Strolling: Donald (right) Francesco Molinari of Italy walk to the 17th green

Strolling: Donald (right) Francesco Molinari of Italy walk to the 17th green

As for the rest of the Ryder Cuppers,
Lee Westwood shot a useful 67 with Justin Rose and Nicolas Colsaerts a
further stroke behind. Ian Poulter, however, could only manage a 72.
His reponse: ‘Completely disgusted with myself, I’ve finally hit the
wall and jetlag has hit me for six.’

Finally, as for the answer to the day’s big question… Donald’s miss came on the 12th hole during The Open at Lytham.

Rory McIlroy frustrated as Singapore Open suspended

Singapore Open cut to 54 holes after thunderstorms delay McIlroy's progress

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UPDATED:

10:26 GMT, 9 November 2012

The Barclays Singapore Open featuring world No 1 Rory McIlroy could be cut to 54 holes for the second year running after more thunderstorm delays at Sentosa on Friday.

Half the field have not even started their second rounds after two days of the 3.7million event and more rain is forecast for the weekend.

Thai golfer Chapchai Nirat and England's Simon Dyson top the leaderboard overnight, although there will be an instant change to that when play resumes as Dyson failed to par the 474-yard fifth – his 14th – just before the siren sounded and was left with a short putt for bogey.

No go: Rory McIlroy was stopped in his tracks at the Singapore Open

No go: Rory McIlroy was stopped in his tracks at the Singapore Open

Watching brief: Caroline Wozniacki keeps tabs on boyfriend McIlroy at the Singapore Open

Watching brief: Caroline Wozniacki keeps tabs on boyfriend McIlroy at the Singapore Open

That would drop him to five under par, one behind Nirat and alongside Dane Thomas Bjorn and Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero. Bjorn is among those who have played only 18 holes so far.

McIlroy is down in joint 29th place on one under, but that was a distinct improvement on how he stood earlier in the day.

After first of all completing an opening 70, the 23-year-old Northern Irishman dropped three early strokes when he went out again soon afterwards.

Looking for something Rikard Karlberg searches for his ball during day two of the Singapore Open

Looking for something Rikard Karlberg searches for his ball during day two of the Singapore Open

At two over McIlroy was outside the predicted halfway cut mark at that point, but he then had three birdies in four holes around the turn.

The last two of those were the result of superb approaches to within three feet of the flag.

Phil Mickelson, three-time winner Adam Scott and Padraig Harrington did not make it onto the course like Bjorn, but at two over, level par and three over respectively they all have a lot of work to do on the resumption to climb into contention – especially if the tournament is shortened.

Leading light: Simon Dyson sits at the top of the leaderboard

Leading light: Simon Dyson sits at the top of the leaderboard

Dyson was a four-time winner in Asia earlier in his career, but has had a disappointing season. With a best finish of 10th at the Irish Open in July he has dropped from 28th in the world to 63rd.

A climb back into the top 50 by the end of the year, though, would secure him a third trip to the US Masters next April.

Nirat is ranked 631st, but was a winner on the European Tour in China five years ago.

Jamie Donaldson leads after course record at BMW Master

Donaldson outshines Ryder Cup stars…but McIlroy and Co are ready to pounce

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UPDATED:

09:48 GMT, 25 October 2012

Welshman Jamie Donaldson left Europe's Ryder Cup side trailing in his wake with a brilliant course-record 62 at the BMW Masters in Shanghai.

Donaldson, whose victory at the Irish Open in July was his first in 255 European Tour events, birdied 10 of the first 16 holes at Lake Malaren and then saw his chip to the short 17th lip out of the hole.

Catch me if you can: Welshman Jamie Donaldson is four clear after a course-record 62 at the BMW Masters

Catch me if you can: Welshman Jamie Donaldson is four clear after a course-record 62 at the BMW Masters

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The 37-year-old parred the last and has a four-stroke lead over Swede Peter Hanson and Italian Francesco Molinari.

Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, without a top-10 finish since January, and Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey were both in with 67s.

Rory McIlroy joined the pair after a superb approach to three feet at the last set up his birdie.

The world No 1 was back on the course
where he won the Shanghai Masters a year ago, playing alongside 10 of
his team-mates from Medinah. Sergio Garcia was not in attendance.

Game for a laugh: Rory McIlroy (left) kept his Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose amused in Shanghai

Game for a laugh: Rory McIlroy (left) kept his Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose amused in Shanghai

Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose were in a group on four under as the top half of the leaderboard became crammed with star names.

Donaldson told European Tour radio: 'It was one of those rounds where you hit every shot where you want to and every putt where you want to.

'The course suits me. The fairways are quite generous and if you miss the bunkers you can play aggressive golf.

'It's an awesome field, so I need to keep playing like that to stay ahead of them.'

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: Tiger Woods blasted by bookies

Woods admits Molinari tie felt worthless as bookies blast former world No 1 for conceding putt and costing them MILLIONS

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UPDATED:

12:59 GMT, 1 October 2012

Tiger Woods claimed neither he nor the United States team were interested in salvaging a tie from the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah as bookies were left raging at the 14-time major champion.

Woods conceded a putt to gift Francesco Molinari a half in the final singles match just moments after Martin Kaymer had made sure the Europeans would keep hold of the trophy.

The match ended 14-13 to Jose Maria Olazabal's team but a 14-14 draw, which would have been enough for Team Europe as holders, was the result the bookies were banking on.

All over: Tiger Woods congratulates Francesco Molinari after giving him a half

All over: Tiger Woods congratulates Francesco Molinari after giving him a half

Betting firms faced a combined multi-million payout in what was their most expensive ever Ryder Cup.

The unlikely comeback cost Ladbrokes 650,000 and Coral 400,000, while other bookmakers also reported heavy losses.

Two punters even bet 500,000 on Europe to win as the odds fell.

Cough up: Bookies were the big losers after Woods gave Molinari hiss putt

Cough up: Bookies were the big losers after Woods gave Molinari hiss putt

A Ladbrokes spokesman told MailOnline: ‘No-one bets on a tie. It cost us just over 650,000 last night on Tiger’s miss. Tiger is not a bookie’s friend this morning.

‘At 8:20pm, Europe were 33/1 to win and USA were 1/50. It was a nightmare result. The USA were heavily backed pre-tournament. We were so close. It was our most expensive one ever.’

A Sky Bet spokesman told Sporting Life: ‘While it was impossible not to get caught up in such a fantastic victory, Woods's miss resulted in us taking a really heavy beating.

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

‘(But) our decision to pay out on both (Martin) Kaymer and Molinari securing the winning points will have made the night even more special for those who kept the faith.’

A Coral spokesman told MailOnline: ‘It was the biggest betting Ryder Cup we've ever had. We took 1million. During the first two days confidence was a bit shot. People didn't really back Europe then.

‘We were staring at the ideal result when Woods was at the final hole. Had it been a tie we would have kept everything we'd taken because no-one backs a draw. But it was a 400,000 hit.’

Woods' half was his only return of a miserable four days for the former world No 1.

He 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 halved with Molinari

Yanks but no thanks: Woods halved with 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.'

Tiger Woods: Salvaging draw wasn"t worth it

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

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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: Martin Kaymer reveals Bernand Langer influence after sinking winning putt

Kaymer reveals Langer influence after sinking winning putt at Medinah

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UPDATED:

23:44 GMT, 30 September 2012

Martin Kaymer hailed the influence of former captain Bernhard Langer after ensuring Europe retained the Ryder Cup in sensational fashion at Medinah.

Trailing 10-6 overnight, Jose Maria Olazabal's side needed to match the largest last-day comeback in the event's history – achieved by the home side at Brookline in 1999 – to take the trophy back from Chicago.

And they did so in incredible style, winning the first five singles matches and adding further wins from Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood before Kaymer secured the decisive point on the 18th by beating Steve Stricker.

Winning putt: Kaymer completed a stunning comeback from Europe

Winning putt: Kaymer completed a stunning comeback from Europe

Winning putt: Kaymer completed a stunning comeback from Europe

The final match between Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari was halved when Woods missed a close-range par putt on the last, giving Europe outright victory by 14 points to 13.

'It's a feeling I've never had before,' Kaymer said. 'On Friday I sat down with Bernhard and talked to him about the Ryder Cup because my attitude was not the right one, but after that I know how important the Ryder Cup is.'

Langer had missed a putt of six feet to secure the cup at Kiawah Island in 1991, but his fellow German somehow held his nerve from the same distance after charging his birdie attempt past the hole.

Pandemonium: Europe's fans go wild after the victory is secured

Pandemonium: Europe's fans go wild after the victory is secured

Asked to compare the win to his US PGA triumph in 2010, Kaymer added: 'It's a completely different level. The major was just for me. Here, my brother and father were here and now I know how great it feels to win the Ryder Cup.'

Justin Rose, who birdied the last two holes to beat Phil Mickelson, said: 'We are in shock.

Match of the day: Rose beat Mickelson in a thrilling encounter

Match of the day: Rose beat Mickelson in a thrilling encounter

Match of the day: Rose beat Mickelson in a thrilling encounter

'We wanted to believe, we really did want to believe, but we had no illusions of how hard that day was going to be; four points against a team that's played so well all week.'

Ian Poulter, who also won the last two holes to defeat Webb Simpson and make it four wins out of four this week, added: 'Ollie said to us at the start of the week, Ryder Cup is what memories and dreams are made of, and he's been awesome.

'And last night in that team room was buzzing. We weren't four down. We were all square. We just knew we had a chance and do you know what This is history right here. This has been unbelievable.

'I'm going to enjoy it, with the best team I've ever seen, and the best captain I've ever seen, and everyone else, because this right here is special.'

Champagne moment: Kaymer, Sergio Garcia (above right) and Francesco Molinari (below) celebrate the victory

Champagne moment: Kaymer, Sergio Garcia (above right) and Francesco Molinari (below) celebrate the victory

Champagne moment: Kaymer, Sergio Garcia (above right) and Francesco Molinari (below) celebrate the victory