Gentlemanly Move Keeps Europe from Record

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36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- Paul McGinley was trying to do the right thing.
 
His European teammates probably will never let him live it down.
 
Of course, they can all laugh about it, because the Euros have the Ryder Cup again. But had McGinley not conceded a 25-foot putt to J.J. Henry on the 18th hole, they might have had a record, too.
 
Europe matched its record-setting blowout of 2004 with an identical 18 1/2 -9 1/2 score Sunday. Another half point, which would have been earned had Henry not made -- or been given -- that putt, and this would have been the most historic blowout of all time.
 
'I'll have a talk with Paul McGinley later,' captain Ian Woosnam said jokingly.
 
In his defense, Europe had long secured the match when McGinley conceded the putt, and there were other matches on the course, so the Irishman couldn't have known the half point he gave away would cost his team the record.
 
Also, there was a streaker running across the green. 'And it wasn't even a woman,' McGinley lamented.
 
And this is the Ryder Cup, where sportsmanship is supposed to reign supreme.
 
McGinley said he asked assistant captain Des Smyth what he should do as the players approached the green.
 
'He wouldn't help,' McGinley said.
 
Henry said he appreciated the gesture.
 
'I think it shows really what the spirit of this competition is all about,' Henry said. 'What a gentleman, obviously.'
 
McGinley said he'd rather not make too big a deal over the whole episode. Surely, his European teammates will. But what a great 'problem' to have.
 
'It has crossed my mind on several occasions, and I'm sure it's not finished yet,' McGinley said. 'But it was a gesture done in the right spirit.'
 
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