Sunday, 18 November 2001
It might not have had the tension of the last Ryder Cup at Brookline but, unfortunately for the visitors, the outcome was the same as the United States once again dominated a final day singles session to beat the Rest of the World and win the inaugural UBS Warburg Cup.

In Boston two years ago Europe held a 10-6 lead going into the 12 singles only to lose by a point. This time on the famous Ocean Course it was the Rest of the World who led 7-5 but, with a target of 5 1/2 points to win, they surrendered the session 7 1/2 - 4 1/2 to lose the match 12 1/2 - 11 1/2.

"Obviously we are disappointed to lose but it has been a great event," said Rest of the World captain Gary Player, who lost his first match of the week to American counterpart Arnold Palmer, the American legend winning 2 and 1.

"When I look at the scoreboard it is very exciting to see the scores so close and it must have been great for everybody involved in the event and the sponsors who have produced a tournament to be proud of."

Winning captain Palmer said, "What I feel so good about is the way the teams intermingled. The fellowship has been fantastic, even though the competition has been really keen, and I can't tell you how important that is.

"Twenty four players are going away from here, 12 of them winners, 12 of them losers but they can all be proud of what they achieved here and what they were a part of."

Ironically in the early stages the visitors had the ascendancy in seven of the ties but could not maintain the momentum. Early wins for Nick Faldo, who beat Tom Watson 3 and 2, and Des Smyth, who was five under par in beating Loren Roberts 4 and 3, were soon overtaken in the big picture.

"It has been very competitive," said Faldo. "Whether or not this was devised as a fun format, the guys involved have a lot of pride and as always in team contests, you don't want to be the one who loses and lets the side down."

It looked good for the Rest of the World for, aside from Faldo and Smyth, coming through the turn both Bernhard Langer and Sam Torrance were ahead in their respective matches against Hale Irwin and Curtis Strange. But neither could finish off their dogged opponents.

Langer, in a repeat of the famous tied match with Irwin in the Ryder Cup at The Ocean Course in 1991 which saw the United States win, could not get more than one hole ahead of his 56 year old opponent and the close nature of the match was illustrated perfectly at treacherous 197 yard 17th.

Over the water, where most players were delighted to make par, both Irwin and Langer fired immaculate tee shots to within four feet and holed out for matching birdie twos before sharing the final hole in par.

"To play the 17th like that made the whole week worthwhile," said Langer. "It was a pleasure to play Hale again, he is one of the true gentlemen of the game and our match was played in the spirit golf should be."

Torrance looked to be cruising after taking the first four holes against Strange in the match-up of the men who will lead the respective Ryder Cup teams at The Belfry next September.

But the American battled back superbly and produced a stunning spell on the back nine, birdieing five holes out of six from the 11th to tie the match before the pair shared the final two holes. It mean, with all the other matches in the top eight having gone the home side's way, the contest was tied at 10-10.

England's Denis Durnian, who finished second on the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit, gave the visitors a glimmer of hope when he held his nerve and his game together on the final hole, a par four good enough to beat Dana Quigley and move the Rest of the World 11-10 ahead.

But it proved not to be enough as the Americans rallied in superb fashion in the three matches left on the course.

Australian Ian Stanley, who pipped Durnian on the Seniors Order of Merit, thought he had done enough for Gary Player's side when he won the 17th against Ray Floyd to move one up with one to play.

Had Stanley held on for victory, the Rest of the World side knew they would, at worse, force a draw. But the Australian reckoned without the resilience of the eight time Ryder Cup player Floyd who fired a superb approach to eight feet at the last and holed for a birdie three to give the United States a vital half point.

"That's match play, isn't it?" said Floyd. "We have had a great event and fact it came down to the last couple of matches on the last couple of holes, well, who could ask for more? It has been a well thought-out format and we've all enjoyed being a part of it."

With Floyd having opened the door for a home victory, the last two Americans on the course made sure, Mark Calcavecchia closing out Ian Woosnam on the final green before Larry Nelson delivered the winning point, with a 3 and 2 success over New Zealander Frank Nobilo.

For Calcavecchia in particular, the victory was a sweet one as it finally banished the unhappy memories of the 1991 Ryder Cup where, four up with four to play against Colin Montgomerie, he finished with two bogeys and two double bogeys to end up with a half point only.

This time the 1989 Open champion was assured, firing a superb tee shot at the 17th to eight feet before holing out for birdie to move one up with one to play. Woosnam knew he had to do something special on the last but an errant drive meant he could do no better than par and Calcavecchia's regulation four was sufficient for a point.

It meant the contest was tied at 11 1/2 points apiece but the American victory was only momentarily put on hold. On the 16th, Nobilo, already two down to the three time Major winner Nelson, pulled his drive into trouble and his bogey six meant the American won 3 and 2.

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