Jim Souhan: Gospel of Crenshaw now elixir for Euros at Ryder Cup

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 30, 2012 - 8:10 AM

The Americans haven't lost a segment, but Ian Poulter kept the Europeans hopeful.

hide

Ian Poulter hugged Rory McIlroy after the European pairing won its four-ball match at the Ryder Cup on Saturday.

Photo: Charlie Riedel, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

MEDINAH, ILL. - The second day of the Ryder Cup began with Ian Poulter encouraging fans at the first tee to scream while he hit his drive, as five planes soared above the Medinah Country Club, skywriting, "Seve: Go Europe.''

The day ended almost 12 hours later with Poulter sinking a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th green in the gloaming, at once honoring the legendary competitiveness of the late Seve Ballesteros and giving Europe a puncher's chance heading into the Sunday singles matches.

"I think the Ryder Cup should build a statue of him," said European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

Thanks to Poulter, sports fans around the world with various definitions of the word "football'' have a reason to watch golf Sunday. He almost singlehandedly dampened another day of American dominance, winning two matches with two partners, and making birdies on his last five holes of the day.

The United States will take a 10-6 lead into the 12 singles matches on Sunday, needing 4.5 of of a possible 12 points to win the Cup back from Europe. If not for Poulter and Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia winning the last two matches of the day by one stroke, Sunday would have been nothing more than an American parade.

"I surprise myself," Poulter said. "Match play: I like the fight of it. You get to stare your opponent in the face."

Poulter's opponents must be sick of his bulging eyes. After his last putt, he screamed so loud he scared McIlroy. "I could have just waited in the clubhouse," McIlroy said. "It was the Poult show.''

Only after Keegan Bradley left the stage. Saturday morning, Bradley and Phil Mickelson won for the third time in three tries, tying a Ryder Cup record by beating Donald and Lee Westwood 7 and 6.

The United States won three of the four morning matches to take an 8-4 lead.

"Ben Crenshaw said it can happen," Europe's Justin Rose said between sessions. "And I just really feel if we can get it close, I think everything will hit and we'll start to get a little bit frantic out here, and the American team will feel that."

Rose was referring to Crenshaw, the American captain in 1999, hinting that his team would rally to victory after trailing 10-6 entering Sunday at Brookline. The Americans did win, spoiling Sergio Garcia's debut. "It would be nice to give it back to them, the way they gave it to us,'' Garcia said.

That was the last time a Ryder Cup team rallied from four points down on the final day. Poulter provided the chance for golf's version of a Hail Mary pass.

He's 11-3 in the Ryder Cup. He's ranked 26th in the world. Where would Poulter rank as a match-play competitor? "Zero,'' he said. "That's better than No. 1."

Mickelson is in the Hall of Fame but would cut his golf mullet if he could have Poulter's Ryder Cup record. Before 2012, he was 7-13-6 when playing with a partner, and his overall Ryder Cup record was 3-12-3.

Then he talked team captain Davis Love III into letting him play with Bradley. The pair is 3-0 in this competition, as Bradley has mimicked Poulter's fearlessness while driving the ball much farther.

"Keegan's been a rock star,'' said Donald, Euro star and Chicago resident.

Bradley and Mickelson gave the U.S. a chance to dominate, and the Americans held a 10-4 lead late in the day, after Dustin Johnson made a long birdie putt on the 17th green. "That's the loudest roar I've ever heard,'' Johnson said.

Not long after, Donald made his own birdie on 17 that staved off a Tiger Woods rally and gave the Euros their fifth point.

Poulter fired up the crowd before the first shot of the day, and quieted it with his last shot, a 12-foot putt on 18.

Did he ever doubt that putt was going in? "No," he said. "I've got my teammates behind me. I'm not going to miss it in front of them.''

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • 39TH RYDER CUP U.S. LEADS EUROPE, 10-6

    Today: 11 a.m. on Ch. 11

    Find Jim Souhan's column from the Ryder Cup at star tribune. com/sports

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta 11:35 AM
Cincinnati - D. Axelrod
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 12:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Colorado - J. Lyles 2:45 PM
San Francisco - Y. Petit
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Atlanta - M. Minor 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. Niese
Cleveland - C. Carrasco 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - J. Danks
Minnesota - T. Milone 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Texas - N. Tepesch 7:10 PM
Houston - C. McHugh
Oakland - S. Gray 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Atlanta 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close