Ryder Cup Highlights - Gleneagles 2014
Posted at September 29, 2014
Team Europe were victorious at Gleneagles and here are just some of our main highlights from that special Ryder Cup Sunday!
There were 12 players on the course but, to a man, they all transfixed the plaudits in the direction of Captain Paul McGinley. He was meticulous in his preparation, analysis and observation and his relentless commitment to the cause eventually reaped the rewards and all of the glory which comes with beating the Americans on the biggest stage of all. From organising the team address by Sir Alex Ferguson to the blue and gold fish swimming in the team room - McGinley put in the performance of a lifetime and one which will certainly go down as one of the best and most impressive in memory.
Rory McIlroy - the Heart of Team Europe
If Paul McGinley was the unofficial team 'manager', Rory McIlroy was the on-course captain. He was entrusted with that role by McGinley and he more than lived up to the expectation. Leading by example is not just about winning the points but providing the motivation, belief and reassurance that Europe could live up the strong 'favourites' tag. McIlroy dominated his singles match against Rickie Fowler and was a true inspiration for the rest of the team - a role the world number one relished and embraced with exquisite manner and professionalism. Well, until the celebrations began with Stephen Gallacher (see below)!
Rory McIlroy vs Rickie Fowler
With the potential to be as great as the Woods/Mickelson rivalry - the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles proved another key event in the head-to-head battle between Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler. Facing one another no less than three times, Rory McIlroy eventually proved his superiority with an emphatic 5&4 singles win over the Californian to secure the first Sunday point for Team Europe.
Europe's Big Players on the Biggest Stage
Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell were considered vital if Europe were to enjoy any success at Gleneagles and they eventually turned it on when it really mattered. On Sunday, the team was in a lofty position with a 4 point lead - but 4 and a half points were still needed to ensure victory. McGinley went all out with his big guns and most in-form players to begin with and his faith was justified - McDowell grinding out a 2&1 win over the impressive Spieth in the top match and Kaymer dramatically chipping in to win his tie versus Bubba Watson shortly after. Garcia, Stenson and Rose also played huge roles throughout the week and really provided the driving force for this incredible European victory.
Justin Rose - Europe's New Postman
Justin Rose was perhaps the player of the tournament, closely followed by Team USA's Patrick Reed. He was quite exceptional at times, with miraculous birdie runs on each and every day, a stupendous Seve-esque shot on Sunday and a partnership with Henrik Stenson which was almost unplayable. Unbeaten with four points from five, that's how to deliver for your team.
The Rising Stars of Golf
Victor Dubuisson for Europe; Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth for Team USA. These three men were quite superb and took the Ryder Cup in their strides. Reed, in particular, seemed to be a rare shining light for the Americans and will doubtless be a regular in future Ryder Cups, pairing with Jordan Spieth on many more occasions. A note for the other rookies too: Jamie Donaldson played an incredible shot to within a foot to clinch the win; Jimmy Walker performed superbly all week and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher can count himself truly unlucky to have faced the power-duo of Spieth and Reed followed by Phil Mickelson - who shot six under on Sunday.
Team Europe Celebrate at Gleneagles
And to cap it all off, some of the images which came from Sunday night were quite fantastic. The champagne showers continued well into the evening and even the Americans got involved in the good spirits! A great way to round off a stellar week for Team Europe and Captain McGinley.