Industry experts have put the cost at about $10 million with regards to the late drama that unfolded at Medinar, Illnois after a sensational comeback by the Europeans was rounded off by a gesture of sportsmanship by America’s Tiger Woods.
The Europeans at the end recorded a 14½ to 13½ win after trailing America by 10-4 at one particular point. Europe’s team staged a remarkable comeback to retain the Ryder Cup, battling from 10-6 down overnight. A Ladbrokes spokesman is quoted as saying At 8:20pm, Europe were 33/1 to win and USA were 1/50. It was a nightmare result. The USA were heavily backed pre-tournament. We were so close. It was our most expensive one ever.’
After Europe reached the 14 points they required to retain the cup, Woods knew heading to the 18th tee that the USA could no longer win. He later claimed neither he nor the USA wanted to salvage a tie. After Woods missed his final putt, he conceded one from a similar length to halve his contest with Molinari – a putt which he would have been expected to hold.
The European team said they drew inspiration for the remarkable turnaround from the one and only Seve Ballesteros, the Spanish former world number one who died last May aged 54 after a battle with cancer.
USA captain Davis Love III described the result as a ‘little bit shocking’ and said it was reminiscent of the competition’s tournament in 1999, when the US overhauled a deficit of 10-6 on the final day.
A devastated Woods added: ‘It was already over (on the 18th). We came here as a team – this is a team event. And the cup was already been retained by Europe, so it was already over.
‘You come here as a team and you win or lose as a team, and it’s pointless to even finish. So 18 was just, hey, get this over with. Congratulations to the European team.’ That incident rounded off a dismal three days for Woods in which he failed to win a single match.
The defeat was largely ignored on most US newspaper front-pages, but the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune both carried reports, with the headlines ‘Shock and Awww’ and ‘Medinah Meltdown’.