Also published on the Golf Monthly website
I have sore legs and a sore throat this morning. My children asked me over breakfast just what on earth had been going on in the sitting room last night. They’d been too afraid to come in and see, as they’d thought I was obviously, “very cross.”
I was cross at a couple of moments (like when Kaymer raced his first putt on 18,) but mainly just incredibly excited. That must have been one of the most thrilling sporting events of all time. This year has been awesome for British sports fans, and it just keeps going. There hasn’t been a huge amount in the news to cheer the public in 2012: continued economic struggles, an ailing and, at times, totally incompetent government, an untrustworthy press, a growing rift with the Muslim world, all topped off with miserable weather.
I know sport doesn’t do much, if anything, to right these fundamental wrongs, but it does make us feel better. It gives us a lift, a psychological boost that can, and surely does, make us more positive and productive.
After watching Europe’s phenomenal comeback at Medinah last night I felt energised, I couldn’t sleep with excitement and today I want to do things. I want to write about their historic achievement, I want to play golf, I want to start planning that book I always talk about, I want to go for a run, paint the outside of the house, get a golf lesson. Yes, it’s made me feel good.
The tournament was fantastic from start to finish with superb golf played by both sides. Let’s not forget how brilliantly the likes of Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Dufner played over the first two days. They were inspired, and there was little the Europeans could do to stem the tide.
Then, on the final day, Europe came alive. Drawing on the emotional words of their captain and thoughts of his great friend Seve, they saw light at the end of the tunnel and began haring towards it.
To watch the commitment and passion of these guys was great. The Ryder Cup is their Waterloo, their General Election and they put heart and soul into securing victory. Who wouldn’t be inspired by that?
I was also impressed with the generous spirit of the losing team and the captain in particular. He must have been so incredibly disappointed, but he was eloquent in his thanks, praise for his team and congratulations to the winning side. He displayed the sort of sportsmanship that golf is famed for and we should all strive to emulate.
Let’s hope Gleneagles 2014 can go even some of the way to matching Medinah.