Who Won the 2010 Ryder Cup and How Did It Play Out?

Ryder Cup - Golf's Greatest Event!

The Ryder Cup is simply one of, if not the biggest golf tournament in the world! It is played every 2 years and is a competition between the USA and Europe. It started in 1927 as a match between the USA and Great Britain, with the trophy being provided by Samuel Ryder, a seed distributor.

In 1979 some rule changes were introduced so that European golfers were also eligible for the team as the USA had dominated the competition for the majority of the matches before that.

Each team is now made up of 12 players and the format is for a 3 day competition with sessions consisting of fourballs, foursomes and singles. The competition is hard fought and it is considered a great honour to be selected for the respective teams. Places on the teams are mostly determined by rankings a few weeks before the event but the two team captains also have some wildcard picks that they can use to finish up the team.

Colin Montgomerie - Europe Captain

Both Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods are the top picks for their respective Ryder Cup teams.
Both Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods are the top picks for their respective Ryder Cup teams.

Ryder Cup 2010 - Celtic Manor

In 2001 the Ryder Cup was awarded to Celtic Manor, near Cardiff, in Wales which Sir Terry Matthews had bought at an auction and subsequently turned into a beautiful golf course. His vision, together with the 9 years that they had to prepare for the tournament, gave them the chance to build a course that was fit for the job. The course was ready on time to welcome the masses of crowds anticipated to attend the event.

Ryder Cup 2010 - The Teams

The teams for the Ryder Cup 2010 were made up of the following players:

USA
Captain: Corey Pavin
Team Members: Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Jeff Overton, Matt Kuchar, Stewart Cink, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Tiger Woods.

Europe
Team Captain: Colin Montgomerie
Team Members: Luke Donald, Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Edoardo Molinari, Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood.

Ryder Cup 2010 - Day 1

So Day 1 of the Ryder Cup 2010 was overshadowed by the weather. The first session was 4 fourball matches, the first of which teed off at 7.45am and the pairings were as follows:

Westwood & Kaymer v Mickelson & D Johnson
McIlroy & McDowell v Cink & Kuchar
Poulter & Fisher v Stricker & Woods
Donald & Harrington v Watson & Overton

However, the rain had already started and by 10am play was called off because the course was just too waterlogged to continue - unsurprising really as it was absolutely teaming down. So with only a few holes played the matches were suspended for a good 7 hours until the course was once again playable.

So at the end of day 1 the fourball matches had still not concluded and we were no nearer having any scores on the board!


Ryder Cup 2010 - Day 2

Day 2 started off by finishing the fourball matches that had started on day 1. By around 10.40am these matches had finished and the points had gone the way of the USA by 2 1/2 points to Europe's 1 1/2 points.

At 10.57am the next session of matches started (foursomes this time) with the session format being amended to take account of all the time that was lost on day 1. This meant that all of the players were involved in the foursomes as 6 matches went out to play as follows:

1. Molinari Brothers v Z Johnson/Mahan
2. Westwood/Kaymer v Furyk/Fowler
3. Jimenez/Hanson v Woods/Stricker
4. Harrington/Fisher v Mickelson/D Johnson
5. Poulter/Donald v Watson/Overton
6. McDowell/McIlroy v Cink/Kuchar

Match 1 went to the US, 2 up
Match 4 then finished 3&2 to Europe
This was closely followed by a 4&3 victory for the US in Match 3.
Match 2 ended up all square with a point shared.
Match 5 ended 2 up on the 17th for the Europeans.
Match 6 was taken by the US on the last hole to give them the advantage.

So with the score at USA 6, Europe 4 after the 2nd session the 3rd session pairings were as follows:

1. Harrington/Fisher v Furyk/D Johnson (Fourball)
2. Hanson/Jimenez v Watson/Overton (Fourball)
3. E & F Molinari v Cink/Kuchar (Fourball)
4. Poulter/Kaymer v Mickelson/Fowler (Fourball)
5. Donald/Westwood v Stricker/Woods (Foursomes)
6. McDowell/McIlroy v Z Johnson/Mahan (Foursomes)

The matches went out late in the afternoon to try and get some more play completed so that the Ryder Cup would not have to extend into Monday for the first time in it's history, and after a couple of hours when the light had failed, Europe were up in all 6 matches when they went in for the overnight break. All would be left to play for on the Sunday...

At The End Of Day 3

So, having gone to bed leading in all six matches the European players woke up to find that the rain had started up again and once more play was delayed. The teams set out again at 1.30pm once the course had been made ready and despite a few rain showers they managed to finish off the 3rd session of matches before darkness fell. The Europeans managed to keep hold of their lead in 5 out of the 6 matches and halved the other match. So at the end of day 3, with the amended session 3 fourball and foursome matches completed, the score had turned around from a US lead of 2 points to a Europe lead of 9.5 points to 6.5 points.

So, because of the massive amount of rain which meant that the matches could not be finished in the designated time, the Ryder Cup went into day 4 for the first time, with all the singles matches being played on a Monday. There were big crowds still in attendance and it is unlikely that a Monday finish will happen again for a long time.

Europe win the 2010 Ryder Cup
Europe win the 2010 Ryder Cup

The 4th (and Final) Day!

So the singles all kicked off at 9.05am with Lee Westwood playing against Steve Stricker. The matches were all pretty tight for a while and the run of play ebbed and flowed between the 2 teams. Stricker closed it down against Westwood to give the first point of the day to the USA.

As the matches went through it became apparent that it was going to be a close contest. With Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson both coming good it started to come down to 2 games ath could go either way. Edoardo Molinari v Rickie Fowler and Graeme McDowell v Hunter Mahan were the matches that were going to decide the Ryder Cup.

With Molinari 3 Up and 3 to play, Fowler made a huge comeback to halve the points between then on the 18th. All credit to the 21 year old for holding his nerve.

That left it at 13 1/2 points each with one match left and Europe needing to win to take the Ryder Cup. Heading up to the 16th 1Up, McDowell just had to hold his nerve and keep halving the holes to win. Making an excellent putt at the 16th put him back in charge at 2 Up and with both players making slight mistakes at the 17th, McDowell was given the victory magnanimously by Mahan on the 17th.

Victory for Europe 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2.

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