Europe achieve mission impossible

IT WAS touted as mission impossible in Chicago. Someone forgot to tell the European team.

Europe retained the Ryder Cup and did it in stunning fashion at Medinah Country Club yesterday, producing the greatest comeback since the competition began in 1927 to win 14½-13½.

Jose Maria Olazabal's side had looked dead and buried for much of the weekend and headed into the 12 singles matches 10-6 down.

The Americans needed just 4 ½ points to win the Cup while Europe needed to win eight games - a huge mountain to climb given the way Team USA had dominated the fourballs and foursomes.

But not only did the European players climb the mountain, they conquered it, winning 8½-3½.

Europe won the first five matches on the day to get the ball rolling, but the fight back had started the day before.

Englishman Ian Poulter carded five consecutive birdies, the last on the 18th green, to earn Europe the point it desperately needed to stay in the fight.

Almost 24 hours after Poulter's birdie, German Martin Kaymer, who has struggled with his game for most of the year, holed a six-foot putt on the same green to beat Steve Stricker and secure the point Europe needed to retain the Cup.

In the final match, Tiger Woods was one up against Italian Francesco Molinari before he conceded the hole on the 18th after he missed a short putt. The point was shared meaning Woods only won half a point over the three days.

But the only drama on the day was not just confined to the on-course action - world No1 Rory McIlroy ensured that.

He forgot what time zone he was in and needed a police escort to get to the course, arriving with only minutes to spare before his tee-time. He still beat red-hot Keegan Bradley 2&1.

Gleneagles in Scotland will host the next tournament in 2014.



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