The 2014 Ryder Cup NCG awardsSeptember, 2014
We pick out our heroes and zeroes from the 2014 Ryder Cup
Justin Rose was immense winning four points in an unbeaten display. But for me it’s Graeme McDowell. Got two points out of a rookie and successfully lead Europe out in the singles. He was three down to Jordan Spieth at one point but fought his way back in typical fashion for a 2&1 victory. Was given a different role by Paul McGinley. Other players may have sulked at only getting two games in the first four sessions but G-Mac gladly took it on and it turned out to be a key factor.
Great on the first tee, but Bubba Watson failed to add anything positive for Tom Watson in terms of points.
Jamie Donaldson’s second shot on 15 was worthy of clinching a Ryder Cup. He admitted it was the wedge of his life to get the ball within two feet which gave Keegan Bradley no option but to concede and give Europe the crucial 14.5 points.
Ian Poulter’s second on the par-5 ninth in the Friday fourballs. From the middle of the fairway, he managed to top and shank it into the water. A 22-handicapper would have been disappointed with the contact.
Patrick Reed – undefeated in three matches alongside Jordan Spieth before rattling world number three Henrik Stenson and clinching a point the singles to go with his 2.5 points. Was heckled by a fan on the 1st tee who suggested he could have putted better on Saturday afternoon. Responded by silencing the crowds in a pumped-up, passionate singles display – exactly what USA were missing.
“Second-class post” – Ian ‘Postman” Poulter after chipping in on 15 when playing with Rory McIroy to again salvage an unlikely half against Walker and Fowler on Friday afternoon. It was in response to his poor performance in the morning fourballs.
Since when did we need a choir to get the crowd going at a Ryder Cup? Best pairing
Rose and Stenson. Set the tone for Europe in the first three sessions. Great selection by McGinley.
Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher. Captain McGinley admitted it was a bad call in hindsight. Gallacher needed someone to settle him down and Poulter missed a tiddler on the 1st tee from which the pair never recovered.
Best captaincy decision
Giving McDowell the job of looking after Victor Dubuisson – not just on the course. McDowell relished the task and was rewarded with the opening slot in the singles. Dubuisson clearly wanted to do well for his new mentor and the result was a couple of sensational victories.
Worst captaincy decision
Tom Watson opting to rest Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson for all of Saturday’s play. It was a bizarre decision to play Bradley in Mickelson twice on Friday only to leave both out the following day. Bradley could have played with anyone on Saturday. Fowler and Walker also should have been rested on Saturday afternoon but the pairings were announced when they were beating Poulter and McIlroy – only to have the stuffing knocked out of them in the closing holes.
“Where’s Bianca gone?” Poor old Rickie had a Ryder Cup to forget. I doubt he’s ever watched Eastenders so this one may have gone over his head.
The 1st tee choir’s rendition of Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’ but changing the words to ‘Just-in ROSE!’ – Cringe-worthy. Since when did we need a choir to get the crowd going at a Ryder Cup?
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