History
Ballesteros and Olazabal
History

Europe

September 22, 1989 – Europe sweep the afternoon fourballs

The effect of momentum at the Ryder Cup has long been established, with captains hoping to get their colour on the board early to inspire those teeing off later.
 
Rarely has a team enjoyed momentum like Europe did on Friday afternoon at the Belfry in 1989.
 
Trailing 3-1 from the morning foursomes, Tony Jacklin's side needed to play their way back into the contest.
 
Remarkably, they ended the day 5-3 ahead.


 
A blistering afternoon session saw them send the United States back to their hotel without so much as half a point from the session.
 
That momentum, predictably, came largely from Seve Ballesteros.
 
The Spaniard, Europe's leading points scorer in their 1985 and 1987 victories, was already forging a legendary partnership with compatriot José María Olazábal when the pair went out in the anchor game to face Tom Watson and Mark O'Meara.
 
Despite being last out, the Spaniards were first back to the clubhouse after a whirlwind 6 and 5 victory. In true Seve style, the highlight came at the tenth when Ballesteros ignored the water running along the front and left of the putting surface, refused to be intimidated by the bunkers to the right and drove the green before holing his eagle putt.
 
Just to put the result beyond doubt, Ballesteros birdied the next three holes.


 
English pair Howard Clark and Mark James then took the second game 3 and 2 against Fred Couples and Lanny Wadkins. 
 
Clark and James were already three up when James holed a 20 footer for birdie at the 16th to settle the contest once and for all.
 
In the first match out, Sam Torrance and Gordon Brand Jr had been involved in a topsy-turvy tussle with Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger.
 
Both sides had a good look at birdie on the last, but when Azinger pulled his putt, Brand kept his cool to convert from ten feet to secure a one-up victory.
 
Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam were already ahead against Mark Calcavecchia and Mark McCumber at that stage, and when the Welshman almost chipped in at the 18th, a two-up victory completed a dream session.
 
José María Cañizares ensured Europe retained the cup with his singles victory over Ken Green on Sunday, but America took the last four singles rubbers to ensure the contest finished 14-14 - only the second tie in the tournament's history.
 
Ballesteros finished the week with three and a half points - only his friend Olazábal, with four and a half, had more.
 
"When Seve gets his Porsche going, not even San Pedro in heaven can stop him" - Olazábal said after their victory over Watson and O'Meara that set the tone for the bluest of Friday afternoons.