Europe produce great escape

The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah will long live long in the memory after Europe produced a great escape to retain the trophy.

The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club will long live long in the memory of golf fans after Europe produced a great escape to retain the trophy.

Not many gave Jose Maria Olazabal’s men a chance when they found themselves 10-6 down coming into Sunday, but they somehow conjured up some magic, notching up eight singles matches and a draw to secure a 14.5-13.5 victory over the United States.

Europe won the first five matches of the day to give themselves hope, then picked up two more crucial victories, leaving it to Martin Kaymer to seal the deal in the penultimate match when he defeated Steve Stricker 1up. The icing was put on the cake when Tiger Woods bogeyed the hole to halve his match with Italian Francesco Molinari, giving Europe the outright win.

The win matched the record recovery of Ben Crenshaw’s US team in Boston in 1999 and is the best from a European side in Ryder Cup history.

Victory looked nearly impossible at the start of the day with the United States needing only four points to regain the trophy.

However, Luke Donald and the rest of the team came charging out of the blocks as the Englishman went 2 up on Bubba Watson in the lead match and Europe were ahead in three of the first five matchups with one all-square.

Donald duly delivered the first point for Europe as he led from start to finish to see off Watson 2&1 and it all clicked for the visitors after that.

Paul Lawrie was next as he beat Tour Championship winner Brandt Snedeker 5&3 while world number one Rory McIlroy, who nearly missed his tee-time due to a mix-up over time zones, brought Keegan Bradley’s unbeaten run to an end with a 2&1 win.

Ian Poulter made it four out of four for Europe and tied the match at 10-10 by defeating Webb Simpson 2 up.

Dustin Johnson put the Americans back in front with a 3&2 win over Nicolas Colsaerts but it was all square again after Justin Rose sunk two monster putts to defeat Phil Mickelson 1 up.

It was soon 12-12 as Zach Johnson beat Graeme McDowell 2&1 and Sergio Garcia secured a 1 up win over Jim Furyk.

Europe got their noses in front again when Lee Westwood completed a 3&2 win over Matt Kuchar, but back came the Americans when Jason Dufner defeated Pater Hanson 2 up.

It was left to German Kaymer to retain the cup and after being left on the sidelines on Saturday, he more than made up for it as he sank a five-foot putt on the 18th green to get his team to the 14 points needed.

The celebrations were truly underway after that, but Europe got a late present when Woods, who was 1 up on Molinari after 17 holes, blew two putts from within eight feet to hand Molinari a half point and the outright win.