10.11.2010

wet and wonderful Ryder Cup

We spent two days at the Ryder Cup course at beautiful Celtic Manor Resort near Cardiff, Wales. We weren't allowed to take cell phones or cameras into the tournament, so these photos are some I found on the internet.

The first day was a day of drenching rain and only an hour of play; the second day was beautiful - with a light wind, a few clouds, and even a bit of sunshine. However, the rain had turned the grounds to huge puddles and muddy trails - it was quite a sight to see everyone wading through ankle deep mud - running through the mud actually, because that's what we had to do to keep up with the player we were cheering for.

The Celtic Manor Resort hotel is beautiful and a destination for golfers from around Europe.

We watched Tiger Woods play - not so well, actually, until the last day. I'm so glad I found this photo because it shows the crowds that we were part of and the weird lavander sweaters that the USA team wore on the 2nd day. The team had wardrobe problems - especially with the rain gear that was specially made for them in Montana and leaked so badly that the team helpers had to rush to the souvenir tent and spend $5,000 on new rain jackets and pants that were really waterproof. It was the talk (and laugh) of the British newspapers the next day.

It was interesting that the wives (and girlfriends) of the two teams had a lot of publicity. This is Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy (who has ties to Utah). The wives wore matching outfits for the opening ceremony and also during the tournament. There was a lot of talk about Tiger walking alone.

The 12 wives from each team wore matching outfits - white for the Europeans and red for USA - for the opening ceremony and also during the tournament. There was a lot of talk about Tiger walking alone.

We watched the opening ceremony from a restaurant in Cardiff rather than being there - because our tickets, which were on hold at the front desk of the hotel where the team stayed, were misplaced by the hotel staff.

We really got a better view on the big screen TV as it turned out - above is the photo I took of Rickie Fowler (our guy) and the USA team captain Corey Pavin. And watching from inside was much warmer which made me very glad.

And here is the headline and story telling the final results of the tournament:

Team USA rallies valiantly, but Europe holds on to win thrilling Ryder Cup

Europe reclaimed the Ryder Cup on a picture-perfect Monday, but its victory wasn't secure until the 17th hole of the event's final match thanks to an inspiring American rally that fell just short.

NEWPORT, Wales (AP) -- Europe reclaimed the Ryder Cup, winning a thriller that went down to the final singles match Monday.

The Americans rallied from a three-point deficit to tie the score, bringing the title down to the 12th match. But U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell made a clutch birdie putt at the 16th and was conceded his par putt at No. 17. Hunter Mahan flubbed a chip shot, then missed a last-gasp putt from off the green to save par.

The Europeans won 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 to reclaim the cup won by the Americans at Valhalla two years ago. This was the closest Ryder Cup since 1999, when the Americans rallied from a 10-6 deficit at Brookline for a one-point win.

The youngest American, 21-year-old Rickie Fowler, gave the USA team hope of pulling off an improbable comeback when he won the final three holes to halve his match with Eduardo Molinari. Fowler rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the 17th to extend the match, then made an 18-footer at the final hole to stun the Italian.

A few minutes later, Zach Johnson finished off a 3-and-2 win over Padraig Harrington, evening the score at 13.

That brought it down to McDowell vs. Mahan.

The Northern Irishman was 3 up with seven holes left. But he made a bogey at No. 12, and an errant tee shot at the 15th, a short par-4, handed Mahan another hole.

With Fowler's half-point, Mahan had to halve his match for a 14-14 tie that would've kept the trophy in American hands.

But McDowell rolled in a slick, downhill putt from 15 feet at No. 16 for a brilliant birdie at one of the toughest holes on the course. When Mahan struggled at the 17th, the winner didn't even have to bother with his final putt. Final score: Europe by 1.

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