Ryder Cup heroes: No.3 – David Howell

Equipment

The Englishman reflects on the record-breaking heroics of 2006

What was you form like beforehand?
I WAS struggling a bit. I had some niggles and wasn’t in great form but the difference between The K Club and 2004 was that I had two more years’ experience. 

I had won some big tournaments and done my little bit in ‘04, when I also wasn’t in form, so I knew if I kept an open mind anything could happen. As a result, it was slightly more nerve-wracking.

How did it feel to miss the start?
THE four of us were playing on Thursday and Woosie came up to us, almost together really, and we kind of had an inkling, being in the last group out, of what was coming. 

It was a difficult 15 minutes afterwards but, after the initial silence, we had a bit of a laugh and a joke for two holes. That is the beauty of the Ryder Cup, four can’t play and, as it turned out, Woosie called it right.

We all went to the 1st to watch them tee off. Friday morning of a Ryder Cup is one of the most emotional sporting occasions, particularly with what had happened to Darren Clarke and it being in Ireland for the first time. 

Both times I played I noticed the Americans didn’t do that. There were a couple there, but not all four, and we always felt that they missed a trick there.
Paul’s hole-in-one at the 14th was the perfect way to end. It was a brilliant shot, he absolutely flushed it with a three or four-yard draw. The two foursomes sessions
ON Friday with Henrik Stenson I hit some poor shots on the back nine, three in a row, which were more than a little disconcerting but, fortunately, only one cost us a hole. 

We halved in the end – David Toms and I both hit good putts at the last but just missed.
On Saturday I was with Paul Casey. 

We obviously had the experience of 2004, and even in the Seve Trophy, so it seemed the natural thing to do and we played really well. Paul was playing great all week and I played a bit better. 

Paul’s hole-in-one at the 14th was the perfect way to end. It was a brilliant shot, he absolutely flushed it with a three or four-yard draw. 

The TV coverage was running a few minutes behind so we were milling around knowing this great thing had happened and it hadn’t yet been shown.

Winning his singles
I WOULDN’T say I fancied my chances but, no disrespect to Brett Wetterich, it was perhaps an easier challenge than playing someone like Tiger. 

I also wasn’t under any undue pressure of being first or last out. As the week went along I turned my form around quite nicely, which is not an easy thing to do under the cosh of a Ryder Cup.

I had a nice moment when I looked at the scoreboard and said to my caddy ‘I think that if I hole my putt then we’ve won’. 

It didn’t come across on television that way, but from where I was looking at the time and to have said that, and then roll the putt in was great. 

The overall match wasn’t relying on it which made it easier, but it was nice to stand over a 12-footer thinking ‘this is for the Ryder Cup’ and then hole it.

Winning his singles
I WOULDN’T say I fancied my chances but, no disrespect to Brett Wetterich, it was perhaps an easier challenge than playing someone like Tiger.
 
I also wasn’t under any undue pressure of being first or last out. As the week went along I turned my form around quite nicely, which is not an easy thing to do under the cosh of a Ryder Cup.

I had a nice moment when I looked at the scoreboard and said to my caddy ‘I think that if I hole my putt then we’ve won’. 

It didn’t come across on television that way, but from where I was looking at the time and to have said that, and then roll the putt in was great. 

The overall match wasn’t relying on it which made it easier, but it was nice to stand over a 12-footer thinking ‘this is for the Ryder Cup’ and then hole it.

Previous article
Next article
Top