The Europeans, after pulling off the most unlikely Ryder Cup victory, celebrated in grand fashion at Medinah County Club Sunday. And deservedly so. While they sipped champagne into the night, the United States gagged on the memory of its historic collapse.
“You can tell from my voice the party has been a bit wild,” Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts said. “But the cup will stay in our hands now and we are so glad to be taking it back home.
“Everybody in our camp was involved in the party, caddies, players, everyone, and it was a very special moment.”
It was a very special performance. Down 10-6 to start the final day, the Euros knocked off the Americans one-by-one in the singles competition to pull even at 13-13 with two matches still on the course. Steve Stricker needed to get at least half-point against Martin Kaymer in their match on No. 18. But Stricker bogeyed and Kaymer made his six-foot par putt to give Europe 14 points to retain the cup.
By the time the winners got to the interview room for the post-match press conference, many of the players were champagne-giddy. There was much laughing and chatter, even while one of their teammates answered questions. At one point, Sergio Garcia was responding to an inquiry and was asked to pass champagne to his left to his teammate who also sat at the long press table. At least eight cups with champagne came through Garcia’s hands, so much so that he asked them to stop until he finished answering.
“Everything went so fast yesterday, from everyone standing around the 18th green, to the celebrations and then the party,” Colsaerts told Britain’s Sky Sports television in the lobby of the team hotel in the wake of Europe’s 14-1/2 to 13-1/2 victory.
Both teams normally get together once the dust has settled following the final-day singles but Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal said only a few American players had joined them at the post-match party.
“Some of the U.S. guys and wives came in but obviously they were feeling down,” said the Spaniard as he cradled the Ryder Cup.
“It was a tough day for them so we have to understand that also. I was on the receiving end of a U.S. comeback a few years back (as a player at Brookline in 1999) so I know how hard it is to take.”