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European Ryder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal acknowledges the fans at Medinah
The USA Ryder Cup Team captained by Davis Love played flawless golf through the first 14 matches and had a 10-4 advantage heading into the final two matches on Saturday.
The European Ryder Cup team faced one of the largest deficits in Ryder Cup history heading into those final two Four-Ball matches on Saturday afternoon, but then something amazing happened.
Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald went 3-up on Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker through their first four holes. Going four down after the first nine holes, Woods and Stricker finally woke up and wins at 10, 11, and 13 got them back to just one down with five holes to play. That would be as close as they would come.
Garcia/Donald were able to eke out the one-up win over Woods/Stricker and add a much-needed full point to the Euro ledger.
In the last match of the day Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson were in control at two-up over Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter through 12 holes. Great teams close out the opponent, but in this case the USA team did not.
Mcilroy picked up a birdie at No. 13 and then Ian Poulter strapped a listless McIlroy on his back and proceeded to completely turn around the 2012 Ryder Cup with birdies at 15 and 16 that would give the Euros a one-up win. The point made the score 10-6 after the first two days.
The USA was still in control, right? Normally the USA trailed after the team competition and would right the ship in Sunday Singles. Certainly a four-point lead heading into the 12 singles matches with the powerhouse lineup of talent that the American team had would crush the Euros.
Winning the last two points on Saturday had given the Euros a glimmer of hope, and besides they had the American Ryder Cup slayer Ian Poulter on their side.
Jose Maria Olazabal professing visions of Seve Ballesteros and loading the front end of his roster with Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose on Sunday made him the smartest guy on the planet. All four of the Euros won their matches and suddenly the Ryder Cup was all even with just eight points remaining.
Ian Poulter made miraculous putts on 17 and 18 to win outright over Webb Simpson. Justin Rose channeled some of that "Poulter Putter" magic in making a bomb to sink the ever amiable Phil Mickelson. Golf fans everywhere knew that something was amiss.
The Europeans had taken full control of the Ryder Cup, again!
Wins by Lawrie, Garcia, Westwood and Kaymer sealed the deal for the Euros and made the Woods/Molinari half inconsequential to the festivities.
For two days the Americans could do no wrong. In the last 14 matches they could do nothing right.
The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club was one of the greatest sporting contests of all time. It transcended the sports kingdom. Even guys that don't normally watch or care about golf discussed the Ryder Cup at the water cooler on Monday.
The biannual Ryder Cup matches have become one of the most anticipated events in sports.
It was definitely the biggest golf story of 2012 and probably will be again in 2014 when they will be held in Scotland at Gleneagles.