The Ryder Cup was won by true champions. Players who were able to control their games even when they went behind. The US team never looked like narrowing the deficit on the final day as the Europeans took control of proceedings and won 16 1/2 – 11 1/2.
With Europe going into the singles with a slender 10-6 lead, the American’s had it all to play for as they looked to copy Europe’s triumph in Medinah and win their first Ryder Cup since 2008. We all knew it was possible for the American’s to make up the ground and after the first few holes in each match it looked like they were capable of doing so.
Tom Watson’s men played well in all fourball matches on both Friday and Saturday but the Europeans bounced back on both days to dominate the foursomes with none of the European pairings losing. The pairings picked my McGinley were picked to perfection. Mcilroy and Garcia showed true grit and determination to bounce back in their match against Fowler and Walker in Friday’s foursomes. McDowell showed true leadership as he brought the very best out of the rookie Victor Dubuisson in both matches. But the Ryder Cup hero has to be Justin Rose who played outstanding in every match to acquire 4 out 5 points for his team.
With Europe only needing four points in the singles to retain the Ryder Cup title and four and a half points to win it outright, there was no wonder McGinley chose such a strong start to the final day. McDowell kicked off the final day alongside American Rookie Jordan Speith. The young American had played out of his skin in both the Fourball and Foursomes rounds on Friday and Saturday and looked to continue this fine form as he took control of the match to go three up after five holes. McDowell struggled early on and couldn’t find away through. But the Northern Irishman went on four hole massacre from the 10th hole to go 1up with just five holes to play and sealed the victory on the 17th.
Henrik Stenson followed McDowell but couldn’t replicate his fellow team mates win as he lost against Patrick Reed when he missed a short birdie putt on the last to halve the match. The swede had played well alongside Justin Rose the first two days as the pair won all three of their matches comfortably, but after missing out on Saturday’s foursomes due to a bad back, Stenson never really looked like troubling his competitor on the final day.
World number 1 Rory Mcilroy put Europes first point on the board in the singles matches on Sunday as he yet again overcame the challenge of Rickie Fowler. Fowler has never really been able to challenge Rory and this was shown throughout the 2014 season and was again shown this weekend. Mcilroy halved both his pairs matches against the American and when it came down to the eagerly awaited head to head on the final day, there was only going to be one outcome. The 2014 Open and PGA Championship winner got off to a ferocious start that saw him card four birdies and an eagle within the first six holes. After being 5 down after six, Fowler struggled to make any sort of ground on Mcilroy with the Northern Irishman in cruise control. 5&4 was the final score and the way the two played there was never going to be a different outcome.
Martin Kaymer was the surprise victor on the final day after struggling in his pairs matches on Friday and Saturday. A couple of poor performances were followed by determined win by a man who is made for the Ryder Cup. The passion he showed on the final day was the difference between him and Bubba Watson in their singles match. Passion was difference between the two teams in general. None of the Americans looked like they wanted to win and looked defeated before the first match had even teed off on the final day. A chip in on the 16th saw Kaymer overcome the 2014 Master champion in a 4&2 demolition.
The man who finally sealed the deal was the Ryder Cup rookie Jamie Donaldson and he did it in some style. A pin point accurate approach shot on the fifteenth saw the Gleneagles crowd erupt as the ball rolled to within two feet from the pin and was enough to win the 2014 Ryder Cup.