I WATCHED THE Saturday night of the Ryder Cup with some friends in a Dublin City centre pub, a prelude to an evening of mischief.
Even at that stage, Europe looked to be dead and buried with no hope of a comeback. As we talked through the worst-case scenarios we decided that at the absolute minimum, Europe needed to get out of the session with a 2-2 draw, which would leave them four points behind heading into the final day.
And so the match of Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter absolutely transfixed us. Hardly anybody else in the pub was watching — the All-Ireland Hurling Final replay between Kilkenny and Galway was the next day and most other patrons were watching a re-run of the drawn game instead. But as Poulter hit that magnificent streak and rolled in putt after putt after putt, we roared him on as if we were in Medinah ourselves.
Those Saturday night heroics were enough to leave the tiniest sliver of doubt in American minds and an audacious seed of hope in Europe’s. Still, anyone who was in Chicago on Sunday could not have foreseen that they would be party to one of the most remarkable days in golf’s long and illustrious history.
YouTube credit: MrEvilPancakes
The emotional context — with Europe’s players dressed all in navy and white, a tribute to Mr Ryder Cup, the late Seve Ballesteros – simply added more emotion and poignancy than many could handle. The “Miracle at Medinah” was special, not just one of this year’s highlights but one of the great sporting moments.