McDowell reflects on epic 2010
Whether you were there to witness it, or were among the millions of fans who watched it on television, no-one will ever forget Graeme McDowell’s epic singles victory over Hunter Mahan.
Graeme McDowell was among the first of Team Europe’s players to face the world’s media at Medinah, and the Northern Irishman began his Ryder Cup week reflecting on the instrumental role he played in one of the great tournament’s illustrious history.
Whether you were there to witness it, or were among the millions of fans who watched it on television, no-one will ever forget McDowell’s epic singles victory over Hunter Mahan.
As the last man on the golf course, the Northern Irishman was charged with the huge responsibility of bringing home the final point needed to wrest the famous trophy from the USA, a feat he achieved in the most dramatic fashion that was perfectly encapsulated by his decisive birdie putt on the 16th green.
“I can safely say that I don't think I can ever be more nervous on a golf course than I was that day for those last seven holes,” reflected McDowell.
“I think from the 10th green onwards when I looked up at the giant scoreboard and did exactly what you're not supposed to do as the 12th man – I looked at the board and did a quick calculation and realized that I was going to be needed.
“Those last seven holes, I've never been so nervous in my life. You're just trying not to mess up. You're trying not to lose it for your teammates. You know, I could have 200,000 spectators watching me, but two of my teammates watching me, kind of begging me to get the job done, there's something intimidating and very nerve wracking about that because I think you look at your teammates and you know how they feel; they feel helpless, because there's nothing more they can do.
“I guess everyone’s fate rests in your hands at that point, and there's nothing worse than having that responsibility. I sometimes go back home and watch my little brother play amateur golf and try to qualify for certain events. It's the most stressful thing I ever do is watching him play golf. I think that translates to The Ryder Cup; when it comes to actually watching your teammates trying to win, it's a very helpless and a very stressful scenario.
“Coming down the stretch that day was some of the toughest golf I had ever played in my life and some of the most nerve wracking golf. Myself and Hunter Mahan, someone was going to be the hero and someone was going to be the villain that day.
“Thankfully I was able to get the job done, and it was definitely one of the most amazing moments of my career just to be able to share that with 11 great teammates. It was just really an honour to be the 12th man that day and to be able to get it done because it's such a team effort. There's nothing individual about The Ryder Cup; it's a holistic kind of approach and everyone tries to get the job done.
“You know, where will I play on Sunday? Who knows? Part of me would love that opportunity again. Part of me would love it; part of me would hate it; I'll take whatever comes.”