Europe Dominates US to Win Ryder Cup

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- When Luke Donald rolled in a 3-foot putt at the 17th to win his match against Chad Campbell Sunday, that gave Europe 14 1/2 points, the number needed to win the Ryder Cup -- again.
 
The European side captured the Ryder Cup by a final score of 18 1/2 - 9 1/2, which matched the largest margin of victory by its side that was established the last time around in 2004 at Oakland Hills.
 
European Ryder Cup Team
The victorious European team poses with the Ryder Cup trophy.
All totaled, Europe pounded the Americans in singles, winning 8 1/2 - 3 1/2, the largest margin of victory in singles ever for a European team. The European side captured all five sessions, a feat accomplished for the first time by either team since the inception of the current format in 1979.
 
This was another historic for victory for the Europeans. It was the third straight win for that team, which is the first time that happened for the European side. They won two in a row in 1985 and 1987, then tied to retain the Cup in 1989.
 
'I've been working on this for 18 months now,' said victorious captain Ian Woosnam. 'We had a fantastic team spirit all week. I had a very strong team. To be a captain, is incredible.'
 
For the Americans, it was a dreadful Sunday with the Europeans seemingly holing every putt. The U.S. team only won six matches out of the 28 played this week.
 
'I know our guys played with heart, but it wasn't enough,' acknowledged American captain Tom Lehman.
 
Perhaps the most emotional moment for the European side occurred on the 16th hole Sunday at The K Club.
 
Darren Clarke, playing a little more than a month after the death of his wife, Heather, had a chance to close out his match against Zach Johnson and strode up to the 16th green to a thunderous ovation from the huge gallery at the par-5 hole.
 
Clarke missed his birdie putt and lagged it up to three feet. Johnson's birdie also failed to fall and Johnson conceded Clarke's par putt, giving Clarke a 3-and-2 victory.
 
After a handshake with Johnson, Clarke hugged his caddy as tears streamed down his face. He received hugs from Woosnam, along with several players from both teams, and began to celebrate with his team.
 
'I was trying to keep my emotions in check from midway through the back nine,' admitted Clarke, who went 3-0 this week. 'I had a lucky day and Zach had an unlucky day. Things went for me.
 
'I was trying hard not to get ahead of myself about what all this week means to me. Heather would have wanted me to play here and I feel like I played well. I missed her.'
 
Europe held a 10-6 lead heading into the singles and tried to avoid the debacle of 1999 when the American team overcame that same deficit on Sunday en route to its last victory.
 
That did not happen on Sunday as Colin Montgomerie started things off with a 1-up victory over David Toms in the opening match. That ran Montgomerie's singles record to 6-0-2.
 
Paul Casey continued his strong run as he toppled world No. 3, Jim Furyk, 2 and 1. That was a rematch of last week's HSBC World Match Play Championship first- round battle that saw the same winner.
 
Paul McGinley provided an extremely classy moment in his match against J.J. Henry. With the Cup already decided, he conceded a long birdie putt at the 18th to halve his match after a naked patron caused a disruption.
 
In the middle of the singles, the European team showed its depth.
 
Clarke won the seventh match, rookie Henrik Stenson hammered fellow first- timer Vaughn Taylor, 4 and 3 and David Howell knocked off Brett Wetterich, 5 and 4 in the ninth match.
 
Jose Maria Olazabal compounded what was an awful week for Phil Mickelson. The Spaniard defeated Mickelson, 2 and 1 and went 3-0 for the Ryder Cup. The American went 0-4-1 this week.
 
Lee Westwood, Woosnam's other captain's pick with Clarke, polished off five straight wins for the European side as he bested Chris DiMarco, 2-up in the penultimate match.
 
Westwood completed an undefeated week with a 3-0-2 mark. He has not lost a match in his last two Ryder Cups.
 
There were very few bright spots for the American team, although Stewart Cink did prevent the Americans from putting Sergio Garcia's name in the Ryder Cup history books.
 
Garcia had a chance to become the second player, joining Larry Nelson, to go a perfect 5-0 in a Ryder Cup. Cink, one of Lehman's captain's picks, destroyed the Spaniard Sunday, 4 and 3.
 
Tiger Woods lost his first hole, but took command from there. He dispatched Swedish rookie Robert Karlsson, 4 and 3. Woods finished as the Americans' leading point earner with a 3-2 record, his first winning record at a Ryder Cup in his fifth appearance.
 
On a day when the Europeans holed almost everything they looked at, American Scott Verplank holed the longest shot on Sunday. The captain's pick, who was unhappy Lehman played him in only one session before Sunday, aced the 14th hole en route to a 4 and 3 victory over Padraig Harrington in the anchor match.
 
It was the second ace of the competition after Casey holed a four-iron at the same hole in Saturday's foursomes. Verplank's ace was the sixth in the competition's history, but the first by an American.
 
'It was a perfect yardage for a 3-iron and it dribbled in,' said Verplank.
 
Harrington finished winless in his home country with an 0-4-1 record.
 
Related Links:
  • Ryder Cup Scoring
  • Full Coverage - 36th Ryder Cup Matches
  • Getty Images

    Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

    By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

    McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

    “Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

    The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.


    Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


    The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

    “He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


    Getty Images

    Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

    By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

    Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

    “He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”


    Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


    Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

    Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

    “Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

    Getty Images

    Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

    By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

    Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

    During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.


    Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


    In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

    The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

    Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.