Souhan: Twin Cities golf fans to share in Ryder Cup delight

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 2, 2012 - 7:08 AM

The spectacle in Chicago that was the Ryder Cup is sure to be reborn at Hazeltine in 2016.

MEDINAH, ILL. - Congratulations, Hazeltine National.

In four years you'll be the site of the greatest panorama in sports, if not the greatest event.

"Great stuff, this Ryder Cup," Ian Poulter said.

Here's what it looked like when Europe rallied from a 10-4 deficit to retain the Cup on Sunday afternoon with a 14 1/2-13 1/2 victory at Medinah Country Club:

On the 17th green, Phil Mickelson chipped from the hillside and as the ball trickled toward the cup, he sprinted, club raised, around the green. "If that had gone in," he said, "I would have jumped in the water."

Roars and groans had washed over the amphitheater surrounding the 17th green, and the thousands by the 17th tee, and on the bridge, and around the hole, and looking on from adjacent holes, rose and screamed, and then the chip fell short.

On the 18th green, minutes later, Steve Stricker, one of the best putters in the world, missed a 40-foot putt by eight feet. He was surrounded by packed grandstands, and the European and American teams stood nearby. About 150 yards away, Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari waited for shots that would not matter. When Martin Kaymer hit the winning putt, the Europeans began a celebration that extended into the interview room late Sunday night, where Lee Westwood kept singing and talking even as his teammates tried to answer questions.

"This event," said U.S. legend Lee Trevino, "is better than the Super Bowl."

"It's like packing the divisional playoffs, conference championships and Super Bowl into one week," said Patrick Hunt, chair of the Hazeltine Ryder Cup.

Twenty-four golfers who make their living as independent contractors while avoiding risk and rarely showing emotion are thrust, every two years, onto a stage that transforms them into drama kings.

Europe has won seven of the past nine Cups while mimicking their most famous duo, the late Seve Ballesteros and the 2012 team captain, Jose Maria Olazabal. Poulter paid homage to them by going 4-0 this weekend and creating the celebration of choice for Europe: Fists held waist high, eyes bulging.

"Ryder Cup is like no other," he said. "You can't do that in any other situation, celebrate like that on the 16th hole.

"It means that much. I've seen it over the years with Seve and Ollie and Nick Faldo and all the guys. You know what, that's why the Ryder Cup is so special, because you can hole that putt at the right time and it does mean that much, so your emotions just come out."

His emotions left Jim Furyk bent over the 18th green, having lost a key point in the Sunday twilight. He had lost two prominent tournaments this year with late collapses. "This," he said Sunday night, "is the low point for me."

Hazeltine has hosted major championships before, but the Ryder Cup is different. Many of the more than 40,000 fans on site pack around four matches at a time on Friday and Saturday, then scramble around the course to catch the most important matches on Sunday, while others camp by key holes in hopes of watching a pivotal moment.

Roars and groans cascade over the course. After Bubba Watson whipped the fans at the first tee into a frenzy, then hit while they were still cheering, U.S. team vice captain Fred Couples said, "I've never seen anything like that."

Members of the U.S. players' families wore jackets with all of the players' names written on the back, as if they were Little Leaguers, and for this one week they are paid like Little Leaguers. The PGA of America makes charitable donations in the players' names, but they are not compensated.

They play for love of country and team, exposing themselves to ridicule if they fail.

Europe's Rory McIlroy, the No.1-ranked player in the world, barely made it to the first tee on Sunday, saying he had confused the time zones. "It's the most worried I've ever been," McIlroy said. "If I was playing for myself, I'd be fine. It's my own fault. But to let down all the boys and vice captains and captain -- I would never have forgiven myself."

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. •

  • related content

  • From left, Europe’s Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, and Lee Westwood reveled in their team’s unlikely comeback against the U.S. Sunday to retain the Ryder Cup.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Toronto 1 Bottom 1st Inning
NY Yankees 0
Washington 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets - J. deGrom 12:35 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Boston - J. Kelly 12:35 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 12:35 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Chicago WSox - J. Danks 12:40 PM
Tampa Bay - N. Karns
Cleveland - C. Kluber 1:10 PM
Minnesota - A. Swarzak
Detroit - R. Porcello 1:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Seattle - H. Iwakuma 1:10 PM
Houston - C. McHugh
Los Angeles - J. Wright 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner
Texas - N. Tepesch 2:35 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 7 1st Qtr 9:39
Buffalo 0
Dallas 0 1st Qtr 6:05
St. Louis 7
Washington 7 1st Qtr 8:24
Philadelphia 7
Houston 0 1st Qtr 6:00
NY Giants 0
Minnesota 0 1st Qtr 8:41
New Orleans 7
Tennessee 0 1st Qtr 4:48
Cincinnati 3
Baltimore 3 1st Qtr 6:31
Cleveland 0
Green Bay 0 1st Qtr 9:55
Detroit 7
Indianapolis 3 1st Qtr 7:25
Jacksonville 0
Oakland 0 1st Qtr 6:45
New England 0
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Denver 3:25 PM
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Columbus 12:30 PM
Buffalo 4:00 PM
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
Miss State 34 FINAL
(8) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(14) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(24) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
(22) Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(22) Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 2:00 PM
Toronto FC
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 0 11:11
Montreal 0
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters