Our team member Rosco takes us through his most memorable Ryder Cup moments, what he is looking forward to this time around and his prediction for the final score.
First Ryder Cup experience – Darren Clark at the K Club
First proper memory of the Ryder Cup was 2006 and Darren Clarke at the K Club in Ireland walking to the first tee following the death of his wife only weeks previously. It was one of the most incredible moments where you could just sense the emotion of the occasion. I remember watching it on the TV with my Dad and both being in bits watching it. Still to this day I can’t believe the courage it took to even take to the course following the death of his wife, let alone finish with a record of 3 points out of 3! I have subsequently read that Clarke hated time on the first tee before a match and actually finished his putting practice before his playing partner Lee Westwood in the morning fourballs. Clarke says he said to Westwood “come on partner, let’s go” but as he walked towards the first tee Westwood suddenly ran off and Clarke wondered what on earth he was doing in his hour of need. It later transpired that Westwood was working the crowd and when Clarke turned the corner he was greeted by what he described as a “tsunami of noise.” Both Westwood and Clarke’s caddies are in tears on the tee and Clarke goes on to birdie the first hole! Captain Ian Woosnam later went on to dedicate the trophy to Clarke’s wife Heather and the pink blazers worn on the final night were a nod to Breast Cancer awareness.
Best Ryder Cup experience – Poulter’s magic run
It can only be Poulter birdieing the final five holes to win a point for Europe in the afternoon fourballs at Medinah in 2012. Europe were trailing USA 10-4 with just two games left out on the course and Poulter and Rory McIlroy were 2 down with 6 holes to play against Jason Dufner and Dustin Johnson. Europe would later finish the day trailing USA 10-6. Poulter’s wide-eyed, fist-pumping roar on the 18th is etched in my memory as absolute sporting theatre and he famously stated to his team mates that “we have a pulse.” Europe went on to win 8.5 of the 12 points in the final singles on Sunday in what was the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history.
Dream Ryder Cup match for 2018 – Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter (Singles)
I know many fans would love to see a rematch of Rory McIlroy vs Patrick Reed but for me the game I’d most like to see is Ian Poulter against Patrick Reed. I’ll be attending this year and can’t wait to follow Ian Poulter in a Ryder Cup!
Score prediction – Europe 15.5 USA 12.5. I think it’ll be close with Europe taking a slender lead into the final day of singles. McIlroy to anchor Team Europe on the final day’s singles.