Poulter the hero as Europe fight back

Ian Poulter’s defiance epitomised the spirit of the European team as they staged a momentous comeback at Medinah to reclaim the Ryder Cup, just as the Americans appeared to have it in their grasp.

If the Americans had dominated the first two days of the competition they had been unable to beat Poulter, who thrived on the raucous opposition of the American crowd. As captain Jose-Maria Olazabal conjured up the competitive spirit of the late Severiano Ballesteros, his team responded with an inspired performance in the singles. Needing eight points from the twelve available, they went a half point better, not only retaining the trophy, but winning the match.

The Europeans built up a seemingly irresistible momentum by winning the first five singles matches, and wiping out the deficit. Olazabal had placed five British players at the top of his list, and they all responded with courageous and impressive wins. Further down the order, Lee Westwood recovered enough form to add another point to the European tally.

With the points level at 13-13 the two remaining matches were all square and Europe needed a point to retain the Cup. The USA’s insurance policy was Tiger Woods in the last match, still looking for his first point in the competition, facing Francesco Molinari. By the time they reached the final green though the USA’s hopes were finished after Martin Kayner had holed the decisive putt. Woods provided a classy touch by sportingly conceding Molinari’s last putt, confirming Europe's overall victory.

"I had Seve in my mind every day," Olazabal said, dedicating the victory to his former Ryder Cup partner. "If someone had written a script for it that would be the ideal one and for it to happen, Seve had to have something to do with it."

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