Capsule look at the closing day of the 36th Ryder Cup
Did you miss any action on an exciting Sunday at the Ryder Cup? From Colin Montgomerie's tone-setting win to Henrik Stenson's victory-clinching putt, here is a complete look at each of the closing singles matches.
September 24, 2006
STRAFFAN, Ireland (AP) -- A capsule look at the 12 singles matches Sunday at the Ryder Cup:
Colin Montgomerie (Europe) def. David Toms (U.S.), 1-up:
In the leadoff spot again, Montgomerie set the tone with a 7-iron into 5 feet for birdie on the third hole for a 1-up lead, and Toms never caught up. Toms bogeyed the next hole, got it back when Montgomerie made his only mistake, and they exchanged pars for the next eight holes until Montgomerie seized control with a 12-foot birdie on the 14th. Toms made a 12-foot birdie on the 17th as he tried to halve their match, but Montgomerie got up and down from the bunker for birdie on the 18th.
Stewart Cink (U.S.) def. Sergio Garcia (Europe), 4 & 3:
Garcia was trying to become the first European in Ryder Cup history to go 5-0, but Cink never gave him a chance. There were birdies on the first five holes, four of them by Cink as he built a 3-up lead, then expanded it to 5-up when Garcia bogeyed the next two. Garcia trimmed the deficit to 3 with an 18-foot birdie on the 11th, but Cink put him away with a 30-footer to match birdies on the 13th. Garcia chipped in on the 15th to stay alive, only to see Cink birdie on top of him with a 35-foot putt to win. Cink became the first U.S. captain's pick to play all five matches.
Paul Casey (Europe) def. Jim Furyk (U.S.), 2 & 1:
One week after his victory in the HSBC World Match Play Championship, Casey kept firing away. He birdied two of the first three holes to build a 2-up lead as Furyk opened with seven straight pars. Furyk then missed the par-3 eighth green, and he couldn't make up ground soon enough. Furyk won the 11th with a birdie, then made a 50-foot eagle from across the green on the par-5 16th when the match was dormie. Casey birdied from 15 feet on the 17th to hand Furyk his first loss in singles.
Tiger Woods (U.S.) def. Robert Karlsson (Europe), 3 & 2:
After trading birdies on the first two holes, Woods took command with an up-and-down birdie on the par-5 fourth, followed by a 12-foot birdie on the fifth. But he couldn't pull away. He lost the sixth with a bogey, then lost his club on the seventh. Caddie Steve Williams went to dip his towel in the River Liffey when he slipped on a rock, and Woods' 9-iron fell into the water. No matter. Woods birdied the ninth, matched birdies on the 11th and pulled away late to finish a 3-2-0 week, his first winning record.
Luke Donald (Europe) def. Chad Campbell (U.S.), 2 & 1:
Two players considered among the dullest in golf got this match off to an appropriate start when each made par on the first 10 holes. Donald took the first lead with an 18-foot birdie on the 11th, then won the next two holes when Campbell made bogeys. Campbell birdied two straight holes to get within one hole with two to play, but he drove into the trees on the 17th and missed his 15-foot par putt. Donald holed a 10-foot par putt that gave Europe its 14th point, all it needed to retain the Ryder Cup.
J.J. Henry (U.S.) halved with Paul McGinley (Europe):
The match went back and forth, with McGinley making big putts to build a 2-up lead through six holes. Then Henry won three straight holes to take a 1-up lead through 11. But this match will be remembered for McGinley's gesture of sportsmanship. With the Ryder Cup already having been won, he and Henry were all square on the 18th. McGinley knocked it close to the cup for a conceded birdie, then the Irishman conceded a 25-foot birdie for Henry, meaning they would halve their match. It was a meaningless half-point, but it kept Europe from posting the highest team total since this current format began in 1979.
Darren Clarke (Europe) def. Zach Johnson (U.S.), 3 & 2:
After hearing another deafening ovation on the first tee, Clarke set off to win another point. He never trailed, taking the lead with a birdie on the par-5 fourth hole and building his lead when Johnson hit into the water on No. 7. Clarke then pulled away with birdies on the 10th and 12th as Johnson struggled, and it looked for the longest time as though the man from Northern Ireland would hole the putt that clinched victory. Clarke was conceded his par putt on the 16th to win, and the tears began to flow.
Henrik Stenson (Europe) def. Vaughn Taylor (U.S.), 4 & 3:
Playing for only the second time this week, Taylor opened with birdies on two of his first four holes but never made another one the rest of the match. Stenson birdied the sixth and seventh holes to go 1-up, expanded his lead when Taylor bogeyed the ninth, then pulled away with each bogey Taylor made. His par on the 15th hole clinched outright victory for Europe.
David Howell (Europe) def. Brett Wetterich (U.S.), 5 & 4:
The biggest rout of the singles matches didn't look that way when Wetterich made his only birdie at No. 9 to trail by only one hole, heading to a back nine with three par 5s. Howell began holing long putts and chips from off the green, and he closed out the match with four straight birdies starting on No. 11.
Jose Maria Olazabal (Europe) def. Phil Mickelson (U.S.), 2 & 1.
Olazabal completed his perfect week with a 3-0 record in a match where he was never threatened against a three-time major winner. Mickelson made only three birdies, and two of them were to halve holes. Even so, Lefty managed to keep in range, down only two holes with six to play, but he couldn't keep the ball in play or close enough to the pin. Mickelson failed to birdie the par-5 10th and par-5 16th, and Olazabal closed him out with five straight pars on the final holes.
Lee Westwood (Europe) def. Chris DiMarco (U.S.), 1-up:
The match went to the 18th hole, but it was never close. Westwood, who played a supporting role all week paired with Clarke and Montgomerie, birdied five of the first seven holes to build a 5-up lead, and DiMarco only started to peck away on the 12th hole. Westwood was 3-up with three to play -- the Ryder Cup already had been decided -- when DiMarco birdied the next two holes. He shook his fist on the 17th hole as if the trophy were on the line. Then, the American hit into the water on the par-5 18th, decided to take a drop and hit the next one in the water. He finally conceded before reaching the green.
Scott Verplank (U.S.) def. Padraig Harrington (Europe), 4 & 3:
Verplank was a captain's pick but played only two matches, both victories. He birdied four of the first seven holes to build a 2-up lead, and the Irishman didn't win another hole after No. 2. Not that he didn't try. Verplank made a hole-in-one on No. 14, the second one of this Ryder Cup, and Harrington tried to match him. His shot on the 14th came up 6 feet short. Verplank was the only American with a perfect mark at The K Club at 2-0-0 and now is 4-1 in his two events.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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