What a week for European golf at Celtic Manor as Colin Montgomerie’s men reclaimed the Ryder Cup.
Downpours of almost biblical proportions could not douse the fire burning in the hearts and stomachs of our troops on what was a truly memorable four days for all kinds of reasons.
It was the first time the match had gone into a fourth day – the downpours of Friday determining that the Ryder Cup would have a Monday finish for the first time in its history.
But not even the incessant rain could drown out the roars of the Welsh audience. They sang, chanted and roared and it was worth the effort getting there just to witness and hear the scenes and ovations on the first tee. Unbelievable!
Lee Westwood was given the honour of leading Europe’s charge and he did it with grace, dignity and style throughout – losing only his singles match because Steve Stricker produced a quality of golf that would have beaten everybody.
Lee was the leader and Rory McIlroy a very willing follower. Whatever thoughts Rory may have had about the competition in the past, I know one thing now. I bet he can’t wait for the next meeting with the Americans in two years. There is no team competition to compare and no other event in golf to evoke such passion from its participants and players.
Graeme McDowell summed up what it was like to be involved in the match which would determine the outcome by saying: ‘The last nine of the US Open was like playing Royal Portrush with my dad on a Sunday afternoon, compared to the Ryder Cup’.
The Americans and their captain Corey Pavin played their part in what was one of the greatest matches in the history of the competition.
Now it’s another team competition for me this week as I link up with my good friend Darren Clarke for the dunhill links championship at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
Dunhill boss Johan Rupert has ‘pinched’ my regular partner Lee Westwood, but I’m more than happy to be part of Team Clarke... and the weather promises to be much better than what we experienced in Wales.
Making the cut is always the objective for the amateurs here so watch this space and I’ll let you know what happened next week.