Europe defeated the United States to regain the Ryder Cup Monday, prevailing by 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2 in a thrilling victory which saw the European finally overcome a gutsy American fightback.
Reuters - Graeme McDowell was on top of the world after winning a nail-biting singles with Hunter Mahan to earn the point that clinched the 38th Ryder Cup for Europe on Monday
With the team score tied at 13-1/2 - 13-1/2 and the final match on the Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor, all the pressure was on the Northern Irishman as he went into the last three holes one up on American Mahan.
McDowell never wilted, showing the nerves of steel he displayed to win the U.S. Open in June to sink a knee-trembling, downhill putt from 12 feet at the 16th before a conceded par at the next clinched victory and sparked scenes of wild jubilation.
"I just cannot describe the feeling of this golf tournament," he said as the other European players drenched him in champagne.
"Trying to win it for your 11 other team mates, the caddies, the fans here have been just unbelievable, Monty (captain Colin Montgomerie) too -- it's a special feeling.
"There is nothing quite like it. I was really nervous there, wow. It is a different feeling. There is just so much pressure," added the 31-year-old who also won the Wales Open at Celtic
Manor in June.
McDowell was one of the backbones of the European effort throughout the event, winning two and a half points out of four after also partnering fellow countryman Rory McIlroy to one
victory and one half.
The U.S. Open champion said the putt he holed at the 16th was the stuff of dreams.
"That was massive," he said. "It was a fast putt but I just had to get it going. Thankfully it caught the edge and fell in. Wow, that was the best putt of my life."
McDowell could not speak highly enough of the spectators who turned up over the four days of the rain-affected contest in south Wales to spur on the European team.
"These fans are amazing to get out here every morning, walking around in the mud," he said.
"I love them a lot. We needed them big time."
McDowell also said Montgomerie had been a shining light for the Europeans.
"He has been amazing too," he said. "For the last two years he has been right up for this.
"There is nothing quite like Colin Montgomerie -- he IS the Ryder Cup and to be able to do that for him today was really special," added McDowell of the Scot who never lost in eight
singles matches as a player.
Date created : 2010-10-04