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Magic Molinari and 'Captain America' goes missing - the Ryder Cup reporters' review

Omnisport
NEWS
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32   //    01 Oct 2018, 17:33 IST
molinaribjorn - Cropped
Francesco Molinari with Thomas Bjorn

The 42nd Ryder Cup concluded on Sunday after three thrilling days of action at Le Golf National.

Team Europe were crowned winners, regaining the title from the United States with a resounding 17.5-10.5 triumph in France.

For the entire week, four Omnisport reporters were on the ground and in the thick of the action.

And here are their highlights of an unforgettable tournament.

 

BEST MOMENT ON THE COURSE

Louise Bawden: American rookie Tony Finau endured an erratic start to the opening session, but he kept his cool and was duly rewarded when he chipped in at the sixth hole for an incredible eagle and the first one of the competition.

Russell Greaves: When Sergio Garcia beat Rickie Fowler in their singles clash, he became the Ryder Cup's all-time leading points scorer and his emotional reaction underlined just how much the competition means to him. It was fantastic to witness.

Christopher Devine: Henrik Stenson is known as 'The Iceman' and showed exactly why on Saturday afternoon. Clutch putts on the 16th and 17th secured the most valuable of victories for the Swede and Justin Rose against Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, and ensured Europe took a four-point lead into Sunday.

Travis Durkee: Francesco Molinari's two-handed fist pump on 12 during his Saturday foursome match. During his historic weekend, Molinari never seemed to show the type of emotion synonymous with this event until the back nine of his Saturday round.

 

BEST MOMENT OFF THE COURSE

LB: The Ryder Cup shows a different side to golf's character, not least the interaction between players and fans. Which is why Ian Poulter stealing a fan's post box costume in reference to his 'Postman' nickname was a particular highlight. His passion, pride and ability to deliver Ryder Cup points were all on show.

RG: When Team Europe filed in to the media centre's interview room for their triumphant press conference, you would have struggled to find a happier collection of people anywhere on the planet. Sergio Garcia was in particularly high spirits, laughing and joking throughout proceedings. After so much focus and fierce competition, it was great to see the players relax and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

CD: Being behind the first tee as the final-day singles got under way amid a sensational atmosphere. I've never seen anything like that at a golf event before. The scenes will live long in the memory.

TD: The standing ovation Tiger Woods received when introduced at the opening ceremony. He still transcends the game and was the one player who united the crowd when he strolled the course.

 

STAR MAN

LB: Off the course, he may be an understated character but you cannot overstate the importance Francesco Molinari had for Team Europe. The Open champion enjoyed a record-breaking weekend and claimed the final point to ensure the Ryder Cup was back in European hands. Not a bad few days' work. 

RG: With 25.5 points in his storied Ryder Cup career, nobody can surpass Sergio Garcia. Some people questioned his inclusion as a captain's pick, and those people were wrong. So very wrong.

CD: How could it be anyone other than Francesco Molinari, the first European to win five points from as many matches at a Ryder Cup. Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood - or 'Moliwood' as they are now known -  were unstoppable together and the Italian also claimed the trophy-clinching point for Europe as he took down Phil Mickelson on Sunday.

TD: Tony Finau didn't win every match he played or evoke the loudest cheers, but he did plenty to raise his profile in the world of golf. His dominant win over Tommy Fleetwood in Sunday's singles will be overlooked, but for a tournament rookie he displayed uncanny poise and seemed to have a lot of fun in the process.

 

BIGGEST LET-DOWN

LB: Patrick Reed. 'Captain America' failed to turn up. He was supposed to be one of the main weapons in Team USA's armoury, but failed to kick into gear. A consolation point in his singles clash against Tyrrell Hatton will do little to raise his spirits.

RG: Love him or hate him, Patrick Reed is hard to ignore, except this weekend. 'Captain America' may as well have stayed at home, his inconsequential victory over Hatton was his only contribution in a losing cause.

CD: Tiger Woods' Ryder Cup record may be dismally poor for a player who has enjoyed such success as an individual, but many felt things would be different for the 14-time major champion at Le Golf National. On the back of his Tour Championship success, Woods was anticipated to relish the team environment like never before and play a leading role for the United States. Instead, he went 0-4.

TD: Tiger Woods finishing the tournament 0-4 is hard to swallow. The hype around his selection to the team and his win last week put enormous attention on his game. Granted, he didn't get much help from his playing partners, but few could have predicted this.

 

FAVOURITE HOLE

LB: The 15th is such a demanding hole. The green is surrounded by water and if the wind is blowing then you really come unstuck. It is also one of the toughest greens to read on the course, accuracy is key and there is little room for error.

RG: Numerous matches never made it to the closing hole, which means they missed out on a highlight of this fantastic course. Flanked on its left by a huge body of water, the island green made for a nervy finish for those ties that ventured that far.

CD: You would struggle to find a more beautiful par three than Le Golf National's 16th, a hole that looks beautiful from every angle. I could have happily spent all week on the banks surrounding its green.

TD: The third hole at Le Golf National isn't the most interesting. There's no looming water hazard, enormous bunker or giant grandstand. But that's what makes it great. The green at the end of the par five offers smaller crowds, nice views and oak trees that seem to lessen the grandeur of the entire course – in a good way.

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