• EN
  • DE
  • FR
  • ES
  • JP
Monday, 01 October 2012
Team Europe celebrate  (Getty Images)
Team Europe celebrate (Getty Images)

Bill Elliott, Golf Monthly Editor at Large and Chairman of the Association of Golf Writers: "There will never be a Ryder Cup like the 39th version at Medinah"

 

RING the bells, sound those trumpet calls, light beacons on the hills.  Most of all sing Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé. Loudly.

There never again will be a Ryder Cup like this 39th version at Medinah. Why? There simply can't be. Even that most unpredictable of things, big time sport, cannot come up with something as wonderfully fabulous as this final Sunday in the suburbs of Chicago.

Four points behind an apparently rampant US side, few of us gave Europe much hope of victory. There was some defiantly brave talk, most of it in bars late on Saturday night when logic is caressed by a swaying kind of anaesthesia.

But in the cold, clear air of a perfect autumnal morning here those hopes seemed ridiculously misplaced as the thousands of American fans embraced the edges of this terrific course and prepared to roar on Davis Love's men.

Wear red, the PGA of America had urged and wear red they did, a long sea of this colour stretching everywhere one cared to look. Sprinkled here and there was the yellow and blue of Europe, the occasional defiant song breaking out now and then.

What José María Olazábal wanted to happen was for his top-loaded players to put blue on the leaderboards around the course early and so subdue the US team's supporters. It was, even on paper, a slim hope but cometh the day cometh the men and Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose plus the strong, reinvented figure of Paul Lawrie did their captain proud.

One by one these players edged ahead of their opponents. One by one they began to paint those leaderboards blue, one by one the rest of us began to believe that something extraordinary was indeed happening in front of our startled eyes on this remarkable day.

Of course, as hope grew vibrantly on one side, so desperation began to infiltrate an apparently impregnable American team. Suddenly the improbable became the possible before turning into the most singular achievement in the history of this competition.

Match after match came to the closing holes and in the majority of these contests it was the European's will that prevailed, the European clutch putts that dropped.

And of course it ended in tears. It was always going to. José María had dedicated this Ryder Cup to his great friend and mentor Severiano Ballesteros. On this Sunday Seve's famous St Andrews silhouette was on every European shirt sleeve.

More importantly, his spirit ran through this team. “Seve taught me one thing above all else,” José María had said at the beginning of the week. “Never give in, never quit, anything is possible in this game.”

On a vibrant day this thought has never been more beautifully exampled. As the climax came José María flicked a glance at the heavens and then began quietly to cry. He was not alone. Olé, Olé, Olé. The perfect end to the perfect summer of sport.

We'll never see its like again. Just be thankful we saw it once.



                                                 

Get Adobe Flash player

THE 2014 RYDER CUP Course Guide

GleneaglesCard of Course

HoleParYardsHoleParYards
14426
25516
34431
43211
54461
63201
74468
84419
95618
103208
114350
124445
134481
144320
154463
165518
173194
185513
Out363751In363492
Tot727243

Latest PhotosMore

  • George O'Grady with Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive, BSkyB
  • Ryder Cup trophy arrives at Gleneagles
  • Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jose Maria Olazabal and Padraig Harrington
  • Paul McGinley
  • The completed European Ryder Cup side
  • Paul McGinley
  • Paul McGinley
  • European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley announcing his three captain's picks
  • RFID wristbands will be in operation during The 2014 Ryder Cup
  • The Ryder Cup trophy
  • Paul McGinley modelling the new Ryder Cup Fan Range
  • Ryder Cup commemorative bank note
  • (L-R) Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, along with Bathgate pro Stuart Callan and ClubGolf Manager Jackie Davidson
  • (L-R) Sandy Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA, Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Europe Director with Patricia Fulton, Bob Reitemeier and David Holwell of the Samuel Ryder Foundation
  • Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP pictured holding the Ryder Cup along with Sandy Jones, PGA Chief Executive (L) and Richard Hills, Director of Ryder Cup Europe
  • Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP, Richard Hills, Director of Ryder Cup Europe and Sandy Jones, PGA Chief Executive with The official painting of The 2014 Ryder Cup which has gone on display at the Parliament
  • (L-R) First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Tricia Marwick, Chief Executive of the PGA Sandy Jones and Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills
  • Frank Boyle, artist and former cartoonist of the year
  • Alan Hansen with ClubGolf members from Prestonfield Golf Club at Edinburgh
  • Paul McGinley, M. Julien de Beaumarchais & Hugues Lechanoine presenting Mouton Cadet Ryder Cup Selection, the 2014 Ryder Cup Wine

Ryder Cup Official Partners

  • Rolex
  • BMW
  • walker
  • ernst
  • standardlife

Media Centre

Official Partner

Official Suppliers

This website is © The PGA European Tour 1997 - 2014. PGA European Tour, Wentworth Drive, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 4LX. Registered in England No. 1867610.
All rights reserved. No reproduction, distribution or transmission of any information, part or parts of this website by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of the PGA European Tour.