TIME and again the Ryder Cup provides edge of the seat entertainment and the 2012 edition was once again something of a classic.
For the best part of two days it looked like Europe might get blown away by the United States. Traditionally, Europe excels in the pairs but the chemistry didn’t seem right this time around.
All the talk was about Seve, fighting to the end, playing with passion but it was in short supply over the first couple of days.
It needed a spark and it finally came late on Saturday evening during the fourballs when Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter staged a remarkable fightback.
Poulter polarizes opinion, but he was a man possessed and he, more than anyone else, seemed to galvanise the entire team.
There will be a lot of focus naturally on the spirit of Seve, his unseen guiding hand in Europe’s glory, but that is to overlook the role captain Olazabal played in helping the group retain their belief.
He made mistakes, a number of his team were not playing with confidence, but he appeared unable to look beyond the plans he had clearly prepared in advance.
The decision to ‘bench’ Donald and Poulter on Friday afternoon appeared foolhardy, as did his refusal to drop Lee Westwood who was clearly out of sorts.
However, with Europe looking at serious hammering he shook things up on the Saturday afternoon and the players finally responded.
Outwardly at least, Olazabal’s faith in his team never faltered and that motivation produced a remarkable final day surge that ultimately earned Europe a stunning victory.