An emotional Sam Torrance last night confirmed just what it meant for him to lead his superlative European team to victory in the 34th Ryder Cup Matches at The De Vere Belfry.
Torrance, a winner of 21 European Tour titles, and a player in three winning Ryder Cup sides, confirmed that it was the pinnacle of his professional career and something that he, his family and his friends would never forget.
The Scot also lavished praise on his own team, and on the losing American side, captained by Curtis Strange, who played an important role in making the match such an outstanding success.
Two hours after Ireland’s Paul McGinley had holed the putt that won the Ryder Cup for Europe, and less than an hour after receiving the trophy at the Official Closing Ceremony, Torrance, accompanied by the whole of his side, came to the media centre amidst cheers from the patriotic crowds.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved this week,” said the Captain. “Apart from my marriage, and the birth of my children, this is undoubtedly the proudest moment of my life.”
“We always knew it would be challenging, and it was. But we were great. They guys at the top of the (singles) order did the job I expected and then out of the shadows came the heroes. Make no mistake, that is what Paul McGinley and Philip Price are. They might have come in here as relative unknowns but they aren’t now. They are starts and that’s what they deserve to be.”
Torrance then went on to praise his opposite number.
“Curtis is a great friend of mine and I would like to thank him for the manner he has behaved throughout this week,” he said. “He was immensely gracious in defeat. I just hope we can be just as gracious in victory.”
Strange congratulated Torrance on his team’s 15.5 – 12.5 triumph and went on to talk about the spirit in which the match was contested.
“I would just like to say I have has a wonderful day today,” said the American Captain. “It truly was. We played some pretty good golf but they were exceptional. They came out fast and they deserved to win.
“It would also be wrong for me to go without saying something about Sam,” he added. “Sam did a remarkable job today. I thought he took a hell of a gamble by front loading (his singles order) like he did, but it worked just like he obviously thought it would.. They got a lot of a blue on the board and that gave them the momentum they needed. The crowd reacted to that and suddenly we had a big problem.
“I would also like to thank the fans. They gave their own team fantastic support but they were also fair and that it is something we will never forget.
“It has been a very special match.”