Day Three of the 2012 Ryder Cup was always going to be full of drama and excitement – but no-one could have predicted what a day it would become…
Captain Olazabal went out strong – an overnight four-point deficit meant that Team Europe needed to come out fighting and get some early wins on the board to get back level with the Americans – and that’s exactly what happened.
Emphatic performances from Donald, Poulter, McIlroy, Rose and Lawrie meant Europe came back square with America after the first six matches out on the course at Medinah Country Club in Chicago, Illinois.
With Team Europe dressed by Glenmuir in colours befitting of European legend, Seve Ballesteros, the players began to play like he did back in his hay-day.
Americans Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson both posted wins against Colsaerts and McDowell respectively, but Lawrie’s outstanding 5&3 win against FedEx Cup winner Brandt Snedeker ensured Europe only remained one point behind.
The match proving to be a real battle of the titans was Garcia versus Furyk – a game that saw both players 1-Up at some point throughout the game was brought back to A/S by a solid par on the 17th by Garcia after Furyk made bogey. Heading down the last Garcia stayed firm and hit the fairway whilst the American wobbled and put his drive into a fairway bunker, and then through the back of the green with his second. But it was Garcia that remained solid to win the last hole with a par to get Europe into the lead for the first time in the tournament.
Meanwhile in the last group, a match that some pointed out could well become the decider, Francesco Molinari and Tiger Woods were battling it out with Woods once again playing better in the second nine to stay in contention.
Swede, Peter Hanson, played his way back into his tie with Jason Dufner with five birdies on the back nine , but lost out to a par from Dufner on the final hole.
Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker fought it out as well, in a matchup that had each player leading at some point during the tie.
But as seemed inevitable the match came down to the last hole with Kaymer requiring a half to ensure retention of the trophy for the Europeans and after an overshot first putt, but a drilled in second putt for Stricker, it was left to Kaymer to answer the question – and he did so. A solid effort to the centre of the cup gained the 14 points necessary.
Woods and Molinari continued their match up the last hole in the knowledge that the trophy would return East, and after a missed putt on the last for Woods, the match as conceded to Europe for a half to ensure a win of 14.5 points to 13.5 points.
A Ryder Cup that will go down in history as one of the greatest golf matches ever played – For Seve.
Europe wins the Ryder Cup 14.5 points to 13.5.