By Davis Love III U.S. Ryder Cup Captain
MEDINAH, Ill. -- To sum up this week, I have to go back to what I said in my opening ceremony speech -- which Michael Bamberger helped me write -- it was the honor of my golfing life. That sums it up.
For our guys, we're stunned in defeat, but it was still a heck of a week. We had a great time. What I wanted to do was give them the experience that six captains gave me. I think they got that. But, unfortunately, they also got the experience that I got four times of not winning. But these guys played great. they played hard. This is something we'll carry with us forever. The 13 of us, the memories, but also the loss. That will makes us stronger together.
When I got all the guys to sit together and talk about going through the closing ceremonies and going through the presser, they were just sitting there saying, "Can you believe this guy made that putt? Can you believe that guy made that putt? I got chipped in on! Sergio hit it out of the pinestraw and it hit the hole!" I mean, come on. We're talking golf.
Are we going to leave here disappointed? Yes. Guys have been apologizing to be and that's the last thing I want. I told them when we were sitting on the back porch, "No more apologies. We gave it everything we had and we didn't win.
Did I visualize this coming? Heck yeah, I did. I knew that this could happen, even after a four-point lead. I sent text messages early this morning. I talked to guys and tried to get them to understand that they just needed to relax and play, because this Ryder Cup doesn't hinge on your one point. You need to just relax and play because there are guys around supporting you.
We tried everything we could to try and get them to relax. But there were guys out there, assistants were calling me saying, "You need to talk to this guy, you need to talk to that guy he's jumpy."
Well, it's easy to get jumpy when guys don't miss. A lot of our guys were playing against guys who weren't missing. That was tough to take.
Our plan, the first two days, was to get our guys playing with guys that they were comfortable with. When it worked, we were four up. That's about the best we could ask for. I don't know. Has anyone ever had a five-point lead? We had a four-point lead, so the plan really, really worked.
Now, today we can second guess how we put guys out, but honestly, I don't know how we could have put them out much different. We knew Europe was going to load the boat.
In the presser, they're asking me, "Why did you take Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley out Saturday afternoon?"
Well, it was so they could play the good guys that were going to go out the next day. We put Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson, the guy that won the FedExCup (Brandt Snedeker), the guy that won the U.S. Open (Webb Simpson), the guy that won the Masters (Bubba Watson), we put them out there to play Europe's best players. We put Tiger and Stricker in the back for just what you saw out there happening.
In case something bad happened, we wanted our cool customers in the back. Tiger and I just felt like the guys that were playing the best should be in the front and the guys who knew how to get it done in the end. You know it's going to come down to match 7, 8 or 9. We had guys there too. Dufner was a cool customer.
Everybody on my team got a putt rolled in on him. When I saw a short missed putt, or a bad chip, it seemed like it always came from us and never from them.
They never really gave us an opening.