It was a weekend to forget for Team USA, as Paul McGinley led his European golfers to a decisive and third consecutive victory in the Ryder Cup.
Unlike two years ago at Medinah, there was to be no late drama as Poulter and co. proceeded to produce a masterclass, well worthy of their huge 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 triumph.
Although members of the US team opted to point the finger of blame at their captain’s (Tom Watson) less than inspiring decision-making, most notably Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk; there could be no denying the quality of golf offered up by a clearly motivated Team Europe.
Whereas Mickelson voiced his opinions in an uncomfortable post press conference, stating that he was perplexed as to why the “winning formula” of their previous Ryder Cup victory in 2008 had been abandoned; European captain Paul McGinley had the respect of his peers as man-management and tactical pairings were openly praised.
Despite ending the day’s session with a slight overnight lead (5-3), Europe’s big guns had failed to fire in the morning, as McIlroy and Poulter seemingly struggled in their respective pairings; whilst American rookie Jimmy Walker flourished against Martin Kaymer.
The afternoon session saw Paul McGinley’s tactics begin to bring about success, as he aimed to rest his pairings of senior players and rookies; Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson began what was to become a successful partnership.
Saturday morning provided Justin Rose with the opportunity to gain a foothold as he scored seven birdies in 16 holes, forcing more pressure on the American duo of Watson and Kuchar.
Later in the day saw Europe pull further ahead, eventually reaching 10 points to 6 at close. This scoreline was the team’s biggest overnight winning margin since 2006.
Europe’s ‘Funday’ Sunday
The final day of the Ryder Cup yielded a brilliant spectacle for all those in attendance, and for those watching on television, as the single matches lived up to the pre-tournament hype.
Rory McIlroy finally began to produce the sort of golf that has made him the World No 1, whilst Phil Mickelson kept USA in contention with his tight win over Stephen Gallacher.
However, it would be the Europeans who found the strongest form, epitomised by the ‘Krazy’ Kraut Kaymer, who beautifully chipped in at the 16th to defeat Bubba Watson and send the crowd into raptures as he celebrated in style.