There have been many famous moments for Europe in the Ryder Cup, but what took place at Medinah Country Club yesterday, with Europe mounting the greatest comeback away from home that the Ryder Cup has ever seen, is a contender as Europe’s single greatest day in Ryder Cup history.
Thomas Bjorn, a veteran of two victorious European teams as a player, in 1997 at Valderrama in Spain and 2002 at the Belfry in England, served as one of four vice captains for Jose Maria Olazabal this year, as he did for Bernhard Langer in 2004 at Oakland Hills, and for Colin Montgomerie at Celtic Manor in Wales in 2010.
All five European teams for which Bjorn has served have won, but as he paused to reflect on the 18th green at Medinah yesterday, as European celebrations began, it was clear the novelty is not wearing off.
“The players themselves knew that they had let themselves down yesterday,” started Bjorn, 41, the first Dane to play in the Ryder Cup. “They knew exactly what they wanted to achieve today. The players set out this morning with a point to prove. We knew we had to dominate the early matches for us to stand a chance, but what has just happened is unbelievable.
“The way we looked at it last night was that even though the Americans had a four-point lead, in order to win they had to get something out of five matches today. So that is nearly half the matches. That was the message we were trying to get across to the players last night. Each player knew he just had to get out there and get his point, but for the first five players all to win is amazing.
“Every single one of our players stood up today and refused to give up, and did whatever they needed to reach 14 points. To have finished with 14 ½ is just ridiculous. What has happened today – I don’t think it will ever happen again.”
Along with his fellow vice-captains this year, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley, Bjorn is a strong candidate for the European Ryder Cup captaincy for 2014.
Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the 2012 Ryder Cup