Friday, 19 March 2010
2008 Ryder Cup - Day 2  (Getty Images)
2008 Ryder Cup - Day 2 (Getty Images)

Captain Nick Faldo feels the second day of The Ryder Cup belonged to Europe after a rousing performance at Valhalla Golf Club saw his Team close in on the United States. 

Faldo will send his 12 players out for the singles Matches on Sunday chasing a two point deficit after reclaiming the momentum thanks to some extraordinary performances.

Europe trail 9-7 but, after a thrilling climax to the Saturday afternoon fourballs in which Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell claimed a superb point, Faldo insists his Team has a golden opportunity to retain the Ryder Cup.

He said: “It was America's day on Friday, it was our day today.  We clawed in there, hung in there.  That was the goal, to chip at the lead they had.  There were moments where it could have gone either way.

“The team was really up, very upbeat.  Obviously we believe we have a great opportunity.”

Faldo praised the contribution of Ian Poulter who has now claimed three out of four points and will be the only European player to play in all five sessions.

“When he walked off I just said, "I'm proud of you.  I'm so proud of you."  Simple as that.

“The man is 23rd in the World Rankings and he finished second in the Open Championship.  That's why I picked him,” added Faldo.

The European Captain also described McDowell’s performances so far as absolutely amazing.

He said: “He's really come on incredibly.  I've talked to him a lot. As you know, I'm big on the visualization.  He's really grasped on to that. 

“He's loving all the things I'm telling him.  He said, "I'm just loving it."  That was why it was a great swap this afternoon to put him and Poulter this afternoon, because you've got two guys just absolutely bouncing.  And at the late stage of two days' tough golf, that was a great pairing to have.

“The putting and the shots have been amazing. These guys are able to produce unbelievable stuff at times,” he added.

United States Captain Paul Azinger admitted Europe has seized some of the momentum but was happy with his Team’s lead going into the singles.

“We took some blows today.  They played great, and we only lost one point today,” he said. “We're happy about that.  You could just tell by the pairings that it was going to be this kind of day.

“I felt like the afternoon was another roller coaster just like yesterday.  In the afternoon  we could have lost 3 to 1, we could have won 3 to 1.  Anything could have happened.

“The putt Steve Stricker made on the last hole was unbelievable, I mean, absolutely unbelievable.  We got lucky there that they didn't make eagle on the last hole in the last match.

“You know, I can't explain the emotion, the energy expended just from sitting around in a cart all day, and the guys that went out there and played and did it.  Adrenaline is a beautiful thing, and we were feeding off it all day.”

 

 


 

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