Anand Datla

Ryder Cup – Parisien orgy, the perfect tribute to golf

Europe underlined its Ryder Cup heritage with another emphatic victory over a fancied yet hapless team from the USA

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Captain Thomas Bjorn of Europe holds The Ryder Cup as Europe celebrate victory following the singles matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 30, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

01 October 2018: Phil Mickelson sailed off the 16th, only to get his ball wet. As he shook hands with Francesco Molinari soon after, he was conceding not just their contest but also the Ryder Cup. As a delirious bunch of Europeans descended to envelope the Italian in their lusty embrace, the energy from Paris resonated around the world of golf.

As the players assembled to face the media soon after the trophy was presented, Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood were seated at either end of the long table. The two men have been clearly smitten this week and it wasn’t long before they exchanged meaningful glances at each other. Fleetwood blew kisses to Molinari, symbolising the warmth and camaraderie that helped Europe shock USA by a seven-point margin.

In stark contrast, barely an hour after suffering another ignominious defeat, Patrick Reed was out grinding knives about team selection and lack of cohesion inside the Jim Furyk led American camp. Don’t be too quick to admonish Reed. At least the gentleman is honest enough to admit there are fault lines that need to be addressed.

The sport could not have asked for a more fitting farewell to yet another brilliant season than the one it received at Le Golf National. The bridge had been crossed with Molinari’s win over Mickelson, but there were a few sailors still at the other end. The faithful, numbering several thousand, serenaded the crew with a relentless hymn of revelry.

The chanting became a crescendo when Alex Noren sank his putt at the 18th to clinch the final point in favour of Europe. Love had long preceded Noren’s effort that got Europe an emphatic 17.5 – 10.5 victory over a jaded bunch of Americans. Noren was only performing the last rites before seeing off their vanquished opponents from across the Atlantic Ocean.

Just a few days ago, Team USA were on a high from the champagne of East Lake, eagerly arriving in Paris for what seemed like an inevitable coronation. Tiger Woods paraded in full majesty to mark his territory in the golfing jungle and the signs were ominous for a lower ranked team of Europeans. The visitors carried with them, eleven of the top twenty ranked golfers, riding a string of success on the TOUR.

None of that mattered on Sunday. An inspired group of Europeans, playing for each other as much as they were for themselves, produced yet another dominant performance to retake the Ryder Cup. Thomas Bjorn was beside himself in joy as his team of dozen warriors delivered another decisive result for the hosts.

 

 

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