Paul Azinger’s US team has won the Ryder Cup for the first time since Brookline in 1999. By packing the top of his singles line-up with his most accomplished players, Azinger’s team gained the crucial momentum, the flow of which a spirited European fight was unable to stem. At the start of the week, few predicted the relatively inexperienced American side could shock their visitors but in the end, their captain’s guile was the difference between the sides.
When Nick Faldo was asked whether he would take on the European captaincy again he said, “who knows, but I would doubt it.” Tomorrow he will be criticised in the British press as arguably his most influential players, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell were sent out at the back of the field, unable to affect the eventual outcome. The 16 ½ to 11 1/2 score-line disguises the closeness of a dramatic afternoon’s golf.
The destiny of the 37th Ryder Cup boiled down to one match between two rookies, JB Holmes and Soren Hansen. The American birdied the 16th and 17th in front of around 20 thousand of his home state fans to secure the victory.