October 4, 2012

What a Ryder Cup!

The Ryder Cup 2012 was maybe the most exciting Ryder Cup ever!

Once again Ryder Cup proved why it is THE tournament. The biggest, the most beautiful, pure passion, everything what we could expect the from the World’s greatest golf tournament!

The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club in Chicago saw an extraordinary comeback by Europe. Jose Maria Olazabal’s men were down after the first two days but came back to win by 14,5 points to 13,5 – a record comeback for Team EUR and one that emulated, and perhaps even surpassed due to it being an away win, that made by the U.S. in 1999 from the same position at the start of the final day.

I’m sure all of us still remember very well how Justin Leonard sank his long putt and Americans started to celebrate although Olazabal was still measuring his own putt to tie the hole. This year’s victory had to taste pretty sweet for Ollie!

Why Europeans won? Why Americans lost again?

Ian Poulter showed his skills and passion in the Ryder Cup once again.

After Olazabal’s wild card announcement in late August I wrote Captain couldn’t pick better player than Ian Poulter to his Ryder Cup team. Once again that Englishman showed why he definitely is the World’s best player during the Ryder Cup. Four matches and the same number of points and lots of holed putts under the huge pressure we can say Poulter was again the best player, no doubt.

His career record of 12-3 is now the best winning percentage in the history of anyone playing that many matches. Even more amazing was his stunning string of five-straight birdies to close out Saturday and lift partner Rory McIlroy to an improbable 1-up-win when the European team was in trouble. Poulter’s individual effort ignited a Sunday filled with more incredible individual efforts. Poulter was the team’s spark plug on the ground.

Olazabal wild card picks were better than Davis Love’s. In the last Ryder Cups those picks has made the difference between two great teams. When Paul Azinger got his willing through after the 2006 Ryder Cup lost and was able to pick four players I thought Americans are going to have a huge advantage. I was wrong.

Jim Furyk was tabbed for his experience, Steve Stricker for his compatibility with Tiger Woods. How’d that work out? Furyk capped a season filled with Sunday disasters by collapsing late against Sergio Garcia, while Stricker went 0-3 alongside Woods, then was nipped down the stretch by Martin Kaymer in what ended up as the decisive match. Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson however performed well enough to save Love’s butt: both recorder 3-0, Davis Love’s captain’s picks went 5-8 at Medinah.

In three different matches on the final day, a U.S. player lost both the second last and the last hole to lose his match. Furyk bogeyed the final two holes to fall to Sergio Garcia. And of the six Sunday matches that were decided on 18th only Jason Dufner ended up earning a full point.

Fans should show their sportsmanship

Let us to be clear I unfortunately wasn’t in Chicago last weekend and I wasn’t in Wales in 2010. I watched both great tournaments from TV. But I can understand why Paul Lawrie said to the press that some of the stuff was really disrespectful.

I thought I heard yelling as “top it, shank it, you’re a loser….”. In my opinion it’s okay to tap hands together and shout when home team win the hole, but if fans were trying to disturb Europeans during their play I cannot accept that.

In 2011 I was in Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle, near Dublin, Ireland. Setting was similar to this year’s Ryder Cup and solved in last matches. European spectators cheered always when their team got the point / won the hole etc. but they never cheered for American’s bad shots. Vice versa. They rewarded Americans always for their good shots too.

If the things Lawrie said are true, American organizers should intervene to it. Golf is a gentlemen’s sport, let’s keep it in that way.

Team Europe golfers pose for a team photo with the Ryder Cup after the closing ceremony of the 39th Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, September 30, 2012. Photo owned: REUTERS/Jim Young.

Sorry for the declamation 🙂 One more thing I like you to know. How Golf GameBook really works, why our app is so much fun and will bring more value to everybody’s game? Here’s an example: I played at Linna Golf on last Sunday and everyone of you were able to follow my game live via GameBook’s Clubhouse. You can see my scorecard here. I will be playing again on next Saturday at 8.30 am EET. If you’re interested to follow, open this link.

Download our app (AppStore, Samsung Apps, Google Play), register yourself as a GameBook member and pling, you are able to so exact the same thing. Enjoy the game folks!

And last but not least: who’s are your picks for the next Ryder Cup captains? Mine are David Toms, USA and Paul McGinley, EUR. (Or Darren Clarke).

Olli

@OlliLehtonen on Twitter