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Thursday, 30 December 2010

2010 - A memorable year of sport (Part 1 - Ryder Cup)

We're coming to the end of another year and it has been one that's produced some quite magical and memorable moments in the world of sport.

It was always going to be a great year and it's so hard to remember everything that happened. We of course had the unforgettable Ryder cup and Ashes and the much more forgettable World Cup.

Add to that the Premier League, Wimbledon, Commonwealth games, Winter Olympics, four golf majors, the 20/20 World Cup and much much more, you get the ingredients for a special year.

I'll start with my favourite moment of the year which was the amazing victory of Europe in one of the greatest ever Ryder Cups. It was a close call between that and the Ashes but watching Graeme McDowell hole that incredible putt on the 16th green at Celtic Manor is a memory that will live with me for the rest of my life.

Following a remarkable comeback from Ricky Flower against Edoardo Molinari, McDowell had to win his match with Hunter Mahan in order to win the most coveted trophy in world golf. Them last few holes were tough to watch. It's what the Ryder Cup is all about. The tension, the drama, the passion and the intensity of thousands of fans watching on cheering every ball hit and every putt holed.

And it had the finish to match. Europe looked home and dry when they won five of six matches in the third session to lead 9.5 to 6.5 with only the singles to go before America hit back in dramatic fashion.

The scores were level and McDowell was 1 up on Mahan going onto the sixteenth when the Irishmen holed a nerveless 20 footer that all but won the Ryder Cup and sent a continent into ecstasy.

He then won the 17th and therefore clinched the trophy for Monty's boys after one of the greatest Ryder Cup's of all time.

McDowell celebrates after gaining the crucial point to win a dramatic Ryder Cup

There were many heroes in that team but Luke Donald and Lee Westwood's hammering over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker stands out for me. The two Englishmen were outstanding throughout the five days and played a big hand in the victory.

A sign of just how important the Ryder Cup is viewed by professionals was shown after the win when McDowell compared the back 9 of his US Open win to a 'walk in the park' compared to the final few holes at Celtic Manor.

Golf produced many heroes from Britain as Westwood became the best player on the planet, one of four Britain's in the top ten and Mcdowell sealed Europe's first win of the the US Open in forty years. It's a year that many golf fans will remember for so many different reasons.

1 comment:

  1. Superb competition and it went down to the wire! Love the Ryder Cup.