Could Sunday be Brookline in reverse?


MEDINAH, Ill. – After a last-ditch effort by Europe in the day’s last two matches, the score looked eerily familiar. Jose Maria Olazabal sat down to speak with the media after the long, exhausting day for his European team and was asked the obvious question.

“Do you have a feeling,” Olazabal was asked by a reporter.

Chuckling, Olazabal said: “I believe that it’s not over.”

The 10-6 deficit that Europe is staring at is the same score the Americans faced at Brookline on Saturday night at the 1999 Ryder Cup. On that same evening U.S. captain Ben Crenshaw spoke with the media for nearly 30 minutes, then left with one final comment.

“I’m a big believer in fate,” Crenshaw said. “I have a good feeling about this. That’s all I’m gonna say.”

Then he stood up and walked out the door. The next day the Americans rallied with an 8 1/2 to 3 1/2 singles victory to produce the largest comeback in the history of the Ryder Cup. The decisive half-point was earned by Justin Leonard, who sank a long putt that triggered a much-criticized U.S. celebration on the 17th green.

Leonard's opponent that day? Olazabal.

This time around, Olazabal doesn’t have a feeling. But he needs the same fate.