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Golf

Europe 5 USA 3: Ryder Cup Day One

Europe take a 5-3 lead into the second day of the Ryder Cup after Colin Montgomerie holed the last putt of the day to earn a half with Lee Westwood.

An error strewn final hour saw the enormous pressure that only this Blue Riband of Golf Tournaments can produce, come to bear and very few players proved immune.

Monty splashed down on 16, Sergio produced a horridly skimmed chip on 18, and Harrington first of all pulled a drive into the rough and then compounded his error with a heavy chip which ballooned 20 foot past leaving his partner, the ever impressive McGinley no chance. Such a shame for the 2002 hero as he had given his team every opportunity, holing nervelessly on 17 to keep the match alive.

The Americans joined the party, Furyk in the drink on 18 and Big Phil Mickleson shanking on 17.

I managed to drag myself off the sofa for an hour or so at the beginning of the afternoon session to complete 20 lengths at the pool, but apart from that it was 12 hours solid hard work watching this, the ultimate sporting occasion.

Since 1985, this Tournament has been a must see for all true fans of sport as it encapsulates why we love competition.

Individual stories amongst the team ethic all played out in a cauldron of pressure as every shot is so vital.

Plus the enormous inter continental rivalry, given an extra edge in the wake of the American’s disgusting display at Brookline in 1999, when they mob handedly invaded the green after Leonard holed a putt despite Olazabal having a chance to level matters.

I remember so many great, great moments of sheer elation matched by despair.

The most dramatic has to be Langer’s final putt in the “War on the Shore” 1991 fixture, which produced a devastating miss.

The most pleasing? Probably Paul McGinlay’s putt to win the thing in 2002 and then his dive into the Belfry lake.

Monty’s final putt for the win in today’s final foursome match must have hurt the American’s big time and gives us the psychological going into tomorrow.

Darren Clarke produced a master class of sang froid this morning in the wake of the tragic death of his wife Heather last month, and we were all willing the Ulsterman on, the collective vibe from the gallery was breathtaking as the Big Man smashed his opening tee shot up the first, setting up the birdie. Just brilliant.

 

 

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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