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Ryder Cup: Europeans script a miracle at Medinah to retain the Ryder Cup

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With the hosts needing just 4 ½ points from a possible 12, everyone but those 12 Europeans believed Sunday was no more than an American parade cheer lead by celebrating Chicago fans. But in a remarkable turnaround of fortunes, Jose Maria Olazabal’s men – dressed in navy blue pants and white shirts adorned with a silhouette of Seve Ballesteros on the sleeve – invoked the spirit of the great man to reinvigorate the team and climb the mountain needed to clinch victory from the jaws of certain defeat. Intense drama and suspense gripped the Medinah Country Club as the thriller reached a nerve busting climax with the teams all square in the final moments. It was left in the hands of four men locked in battle on the final two holes, not one of them had won a point this week, yet they carried the fortunes of their respective team in those gripping moments. Finally, the excruciating wait ended when Tiger Woods conceded the 18th hole to Francesco Molinari just moments after Martin Kaymer had ensured that the Ryder Cup would remain with Europe. Olazabal’s men turned eternal heroes by overturning a 6-10 deficit to clinch victory 14 ½ - 13 ½.

Kaymer made an immense clutch putt for par on the 18th to register the title defending point for Europe by taking a one up victory over Steve Stricker. It circled an eight point turnaround that helped Europe gain a 14-13 lead, which meant the cup they won at Celtic Manor in 2010 would remain in their hands. It was a vital point for Europe considering that Woods was already one up on Molinari by the end of the 17th. Even as Molinari played with monk like calm on the 18th to get within four feet of the pin, Woods muffed twice after getting within eight feet of the pin. He conceded the bogey to ice the cake for Europe and hand them an outright victory.

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Olazábal acknowledges Love's gesture to allow Europe to wear 'Seve Blue'

José María Olazábal, Europe's Captain, has acknowledged the generous gesture of American counterpart Davis Love III which allowed The European Team to wear navy blue in honour of Seve Ballesteros for the final day of the The 2012 Ryder Cup match with the United States at Medinah Country Club.

Ballesteros, who captained Europe to victory at Valderrama in his native Spain in 1997, famously wore navy blue on the final day for many of his 91 worldwide wins including three Open Championships after capturing his first European Tour title in the 1976 Dutch Open wearing a shirt of that colour.

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Ryder Cup: Team USA putts Europe into a deep hole; Poulter salvages slim European hopes

The dreamy run of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley underlined yet another day of American dominance as Davis Love III’s team established a stranglehold on the contest. Chicago revelled yet again in the Ryder Cup heroics of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, who kept local spirits soaring in the afternoon. It was only some late fireworks from Ian Poulter’s invigorated putter that allowed the wounded European contingent much needed respite. After receiving a 3-1 mauling in the morning, Poulter helped Europe salvage slim hope with five consecutive birdies at the end of a long day to ensure some balance to the contest. But after an encore of the first day, it was the host leading the stakes with a four point advantage. The hosts now need just four and a half points on Sunday, out of a possible twelve to clinch what might prove to be a much celebrated victory.

Mickelson and Bradley continued from where they left it on Friday, racing away to their third point of the tie by tying the largest margin ever in a 18-hole Ryder Cup match to take the first point of the third session. It was a 7 & 6 mauling that made former world No.1 players – Luke Donald and Lee Westwood – look like rank amateurs. The match looked like done at the 11th hole where Bradley had a birdie putt to end the foursome, but he missed narrowly. At the 12th Mickelson struck his approach to perfection rolling to within a foot of the pin.

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Ryder Cup: Rookies lead American charge on the first day

The 39th Ryder Cup got off to a rousing start at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago against the backdrop of wildly cheering fans who sang with the falling leaves in the autumnal wind. The Americans made the most out of European inconsistencies to clinch the first day honours riding on a spirited display of rabble rousing golf from Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. The pair won their foursomes in the morning and afternoon with consummate ease to set the tone for the home team. After staying even at the halfway stage, Team USA pulled away in the afternoon by winning three of the four contests to take a commanding 5-3 lead.

The day began on an entirely different note for the Europeans – the team was one up in each of the morning's alternative foursomes. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, the team's lead pair looked in impeccable form as they seemed set to take charge of the first session. But the exuberance of Ryder Cup rookies Bradley, Webb Simpson and Jason Dufner allowed the Americans to claw their way back and change the tenor of play. The highlight of the day though was the curious combination of Mickelson and Bradley who went about their business with the raw delight of school children turning out for a graduation party.

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The European Ryder Cup Team honours Seve Ballesteros

The memory of Seve Ballesteros will be carried every step of the way by The European Team during The 2012 Ryder Cup with the United States at Medinah Country Club this week. European Captain José María Olazábal revealed a special tribute to Seve when The European Team emerged for their first practice round today with their official team golf bags emblazoned with the iconic silhouette depicting Ballesteros's famous Open Championship triumph at St Andrews in 1984.

Olazábal said: "We felt that this was one way that Seve could be with us every step of the way. This is the first match since he sadly passed away and a fitting tribute to a true champion and a great friend.

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