The 2012 Ryder Cup matches are now concluded. If you were on the European side it will go down as a great comeback. If you were on the American side it will be remembered as something else entirely. Here are my five takeaways from the 2012 Ryder Cup.
It's not over until it's over
Like some of you I wrongly assumed that the Americans would win the Ryder Cup after they took such a sizable lead into the Sunday singles. Nothing is ever a sure thing and I should not have assumed that the Americans would maintain their form from the first two days of competition. The Europeans took 8 and 1/2 out of a possible 12 points to retain the Ryder Cup 14 and 1/2 to 13 and 1/2.
Ride your horses until they fall out beneath you
Phil Mickelson hinted at the conclusion of his morning match on day two that he and partner Keegan Bradley might not play in the Saturday afternoon four-ball matches. Despite their 3-0 mark in the team competition, Mickelson indicated that he and Bradley might sit in order to rest up for the singles matches. Mickelson was correct as they did indeed sit out the afternoon matches on Saturday. Their replacements, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, lost. I don't know if Mickelson and Bradley would have played better on Sunday if they had played on Saturday afternoon, but I am almost certain they would have scored a point on Saturday afternoon for the American side.
Sometimes one is better than two
Sometimes a player simply takes over and puts the team on his back. Nicolas Colsaerts' performance in the afternoon four-ball matches on day one was a great display of golf. In a session where things were going badly for the European side (they lost 3-1), Colsaerts basically won a point all on his against Woods and Stricker as he rolled in eight birdies and an eagle in route to a 1-up victory. In hindsight, that was a very important point indeed.
Medinah Country Club has some difficult part 3s
I don't know the distances from the member tees at Medinah Country Club's par 3s, but I do know I would not want to play from the championship tees. Three of the four holes bring water into play and more than one player found a watery grave during the Ryder Cup matches. Of course trying to carry nearly 240 yards over water at No. 13 would have most of us in the drink as well.
Ryder Cup pressure
Just like the pressure in a major championship, the Ryder Cup pressure is real. A four foot putt at the Ryder Cup on Sunday is not quite what it is on a regular PGA Tour stop. Several players had trouble finding the cup from short distances as the pressure began to mount. This makes it all the more impressive that the European team was able to make those putts and that is why the Ryder Cup will be returning to Europe with them.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.
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