What a Week!
I have played in six Ryder Cups now and every time I come away from it amazed by the atmosphere. It is so different to any other tournament that we play; for one week we are playing for each other and not worried about ourselves. Golf is a selfish game but not this week, this week you are wishing nothing but good things for your team mates. It is like being back playing football again when it was all about the team and not about the individual.
This year's Ryder cup was very different to any other that I have played in and any other that has ever been played. It was the first time that it went to a Monday finish and also we had to adjust the format so as to try and get it finished on time. As it turned out even with the adjustment we ended up having to play on Monday. We were blighted by heavy rain during the week but even so it didn’t dampen the atmosphere on the course or in the team room. The crowd were absolutely amazing all week, even on Friday when they had to stand around for seven hours waiting to see if there would be any play. I think the real winners there were the merchandise tents and the bars!
When we did play the weather was actually good - it seemed like all the rain came down at once and then drained away. The course held up very well with all the rain that fell, at least inside the ropes; outside was a different story.
It is always a fantastic week but even more so when the team win and I have to say when you win the way we did it is even better. For it to come down to the last match is unbelievable, considering that we play for 28 points in the week - it is hard believe that it was decided by the last of the twelve singles matches. What a performance by Graeme - to finish the way he did when the whole team were depending on him was brilliant. Another Irish man gets to win the Ryder cup for Europe!
I contributed two points out of a possible four to the cause; Ross Fisher and I partnered each other to win both points, whilst I lost with Luke and also in my singles match. In the singles I came up against a very hot Zach Johnson, who played very well, but I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole. I gave myself plenty of chances, but I just wasn’t able to hole any putts. In the end I lost on the 16th; I was trying hard to keep my match going to help the European cause but it just wasn’t to be. In the end it didn’t matter as we won the Cup by one point.
It is ours for two years, when we will then try and bring it back home from Chicago. In the meantime we can celebrate our win, although we did a good job of it last night!
Team Europe regain Ryder Cup!
An unbelievable final day saw Team Europe snatch victory with a thrilling display by US Open Champion, Graeme McDowell. Playing in the last match he won on the 17th green to hand Europe a 14.5-13.5 victory. Padraig playing at number eleven came up against superb golf from Zach Johnson to lose on the 16th green. There was no doubt that the patriotic crowd helped the team over the final line and the task ahead in two years time at the famed Medinah club will be daunting. For now, Europe have regained the trophy with yet another Irishman holing the winning putt!
Session three saw Padraig again teamed up with Ross Fisher in the first of the fourball matches. Playing some inspired golf the duo saw off Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson by a 2&1 margin with Fisher producing a flawless six birdies. With bad weather again halting play on Sunday the match will for the first time run into a Monday finish with all twelve singles scheduled for play. Europe made a fantastic comeback in session three winning 5.5 points from a possible six to lead 9.5 - 6.5 going into the singles.
Session two of the Ryder Cup continued with an historic change to proceedings with all twelve members of each team playing in six foursomes matches in a bid to catch up on lost time. Padraig teamed up with Ross Fisher, a Ryder Cup rookie in a bid to add experience to a very talented player. They played at number three in the order against Phil Mickelson and big hitting Dustin Johnson. After a poor start where the home side made a mess of their first hole, they played solidly with four birdies recorded to run out 3&2 winners. Team America made the overall running though and lead 6-4 going into the third session of two foursomes and four fourballs, again in a bid to make up for the inclement weather.
Day one of the Ryder Cup turned out to be a damp squib with all four matches being suspended after a couple of hours due to incessant rain. Play resumed some seven hours later and the matches are all poised at around the half way mark when light called a halt to play. Padraig and Luke are currently one down playing the ninth hole with Luke electing to come back Saturday morning to face a five foot putt for a half to stay one down going into the back nine.
Europe had got off to a great start leading in three of the four matches when the suspension was called but Team USA have since clawed back the lead to hold a slight advantage heading into day 2. When the fourballs are completed Saturday, all members of each team will play in the afternoon in six foursomes matches in an historic change to try and achieve a Sunday finish. Failing this, the matches will continue on Monday!
Padraig has been drawn with Luke Donald in the opening fourball session of this years Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales. They will play in the forth and last match Friday morning at 8.30am local time against Ryder Cup rookies, Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton. The format for this years competition is scheduled for four fourball matches on Friday morning followed by four foursomes matches in the afternoon repeated on Saturday and twelve singles on Sunday giving a total of 28 points. Europe will require 14 1/2 points to regain the Ryder Cup trophy. It will be Padraigs sixth successive Ryder Cup appearance at Celtic Manor.