2012 Ryder Cup
|39th Ryder Cup Matches|
|Dates||September 28–30, 2012|
|Venue||Medinah Country Club
Course No. 3
|Captains||Davis Love III (USA)
José María Olazábal (Europe)
|Europe wins the Ryder Cup|
The 39th Ryder Cup was held September 28–30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, U.S. This was the first time that the Ryder Cup was held in Illinois. Europe went into the competition as the cup holders, having defeated the United States 14½ points to 13½ in 2010. The team captains were Davis Love III for the U.S. and José María Olazábal for Europe.
At the start of the final day's play, the U.S. led 10–6 and required 4½ points to win; Europe required 8 points to retain the cup and 8½ to win it outright. Europe achieved one of the greatest comebacks in Ryder Cup history by winning eight and tying one of the 12 singles matches. Martin Kaymer's five-foot putt on the 18th hole to defeat Steve Stricker took the score to 14–13, allowing Europe to retain the cup with one match still in progress. Tiger Woods missed a putt on the final green and conceded the hole to Francesco Molinari, halving the final point and securing outright victory for the European team, 14½–13½. The victory was Europe's fifth in the last six contests. The European captain Olazábal dedicated the victory to the late Seve Ballesteros. The European turnaround was nicknamed the "Miracle at Medinah" by European media covering the event.
- 1 Format
- 2 Course
- 3 Television
- 4 Team qualification and selection
- 5 Teams
- 6 Friday's matches
- 7 Saturday's matches
- 8 Sunday's singles matches
- 9 Media reaction
- 10 References
- 11 External links
- Day 1 (Friday) – 4 foursome (alternate shot) matches in the morning session and 4 fourball (better ball) matches in the afternoon session
- Day 2 (Saturday) – 4 foursome matches in the morning session and 4 fourball matches in the afternoon session
- Day 3 (Sunday) – 12 singles matches
On the first two days there were 4 foursome matches and 4 fourball matches, with the home captain choosing which were played in the morning and which in the afternoon.
With a total of 28 points available, 14½ points are required to win the Cup, and 14 points are required for the defending champion to retain the Cup. All matches are played to a maximum of 18 holes.
As part of its 2012 preparations, Medinah commissioned a $1.5 million greens renovation project on their Course No. 3, led by golf course architect Rees Jones. The project included a dramatic redesign of the 15th hole.
The redesigned 15th offers players with a 'risk-reward' opportunity with a driveable par-four by reducing its length by 100 yards and adding a two-acre lake that borders the right side of the fairway and green. The forward tee allows the hole to be set up as short as 280 yards. The original tee area of 392 yards from the championship tees will be preserved to provide the club with flexibility in course set-up.
Jones, who has overseen all architectural design aspects of Medinah's three golf courses since 2000, moved the 15th green to the left (south), which made way for the creation of a new back tee for the 16th hole. The tree-lined par-four now measures 15 yards longer – playing approximately 470 yards from the championship tees.
The major greens renovation took place on eleven of Course No. 3's original 18 greens and its main putting green, which was rebuilt to USGA specifications. Course No. 3's other six greens were re-grassed and the 15th green rebuilt.
Medinah's Course No. 3 has hosted multiple major championships. The U.S. Open has been held at the course three times: 1949 (won by Cary Middlecoff), 1975 (Lou Graham), and 1990 (Hale Irwin). Tiger Woods has won both PGA Championships held at the course (1999 and 2006). Gary Player won the U.S. Senior Open in 1988.
Before the 2012 Ryder Cup, Europe players Lee Westwood and Sergio García criticised the course, particularly for its lack of rough, trees and other hazards. García said: "There's not a lot of thinking when you get on the tee. You can pretty much hit it nice and hard and, even if you miss, pretty much every time you'll have a shot."
The course measures 7,657 yards (7,002 m) off the 'gold' tees.
All matches were covered live in the United States, a first for a Ryder Cup in Europe. ESPN handled Friday coverage. Mike Tirico and Paul Azinger hosted from the 18th tower, with Curtis Strange and Sean McDonough calling holes, and on-course reporters Andy North, Bill Kratzert and Judy Rankin. Scott Van Pelt hosted recaps during coverage. On Saturday, Golf Channel covered the first half-hour of the morning matches with Kelly Tilghman, Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo. NBC covered the remainder of the weekend action, with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller hosting from the 18th tower, Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen calling holes, and on-course reporters Mark Rolfing, Roger Maltbie, and Dottie Pepper. To bring a European perspective to the telecasts, former European Ryder Cup player Colin Montgomerie was utilized as a guest analyst by NBC on Saturday. NBC had previously used guest analysts for the Ryder Cup in 1999, 2002, and 2006
Team qualification and selection
The European team qualification rules changed after the 2010 contest. The European Points List took precedence over the World Points List, while the captain's picks were reduced from 3 to 2 with the top 5 players in the World Points List now qualifying rather than the top 4. The team consisted of:
- The leading five players on the Ryder Cup European Points List
- The leading five players, not qualified above, on the Ryder Cup World Points List
- Total World Rankings Points earned in Official World Golf Ranking events from September 1, 2011, to August 20, 2012, and thereafter in the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship only
- Two captain's picks
Only members of the European Tour could earn points in the above two lists. They could be full or affiliate members and must have also satisfied (or to be planning to satisfy) their membership obligations. Martin Laird did not become an affiliate member until 2012 and so his performances in 2011 were not counted. Carl Pettersson was not a member of the European Tour and was therefore not considered.
The leading players in the Ryder Cup European points were:
Players in the qualifying places are shown in green.
The leading players in the Ryder Cup World points list were:
Players in the qualifying places are shown in green. Captains picks are shown in yellow.
The United States qualification rules remained the same as for 2010 and the team consisted of:
- The leading eight players on the Ryder Cup Points List
- Points were gained from money earned in majors in 2011 and official PGA Tour events in 2012 through the PGA Championship on August 12. One point is awarded for every $1,000 earned. Money earned in 2012 majors count double and money earned in 2012 alternate events (those played opposite the majors or World Golf Championships) count half.
- Four captain's picks
- Announced on September 4, the four captain's picks were Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker.
Players in the qualifying places are shown in green. Captains picks are shown in yellow.
Each captain selected four vice-captains to assist him during the tournament.
|Davis Love III||48||St. Simons Island, Georgia||—||—||Non-playing captain|
|Tiger Woods||36||Jupiter Island, Florida||1||2||7th appearance|
|Bubba Watson||33||Scottsdale, Arizona||2||7||2nd appearance|
|Jason Dufner||35||Auburn, Alabama||3||9||Ryder Cup rookie|
|Keegan Bradley||26||Jupiter, Florida||4||14||Ryder Cup rookie|
|Webb Simpson||27||Charlotte, North Carolina||5||8||Ryder Cup rookie|
|Zach Johnson||36||St. Simons Island, Georgia||6||17||3rd appearance|
|Matt Kuchar||34||St. Simons Island, Georgia||7||15||2nd appearance|
|Phil Mickelson||42||Rancho Santa Fe, California||8||16||9th appearance|
|Steve Stricker||45||Madison, Wisconsin||10||12||Captain's pick, 3rd appearance|
|Jim Furyk||42||Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida||11||23||Captain's pick, 8th appearance|
|Brandt Snedeker||31||Nashville, Tennessee||13||10||Captain's pick, Ryder Cup rookie|
|Dustin Johnson||28||Myrtle Beach, South Carolina||15||13||Captain's pick, 2nd appearance|
|José María Olazábal||46||Hondarribia, Spain||—||—||—||Non-playing captain|
|Rory McIlroy||23||Holywood, Northern Ireland||1||1||1||2nd appearance|
|Justin Rose||32||London, England||2||3||5||2nd appearance|
|Paul Lawrie||43||Aberdeen, Scotland||3||6||28||2nd appearance|
|Graeme McDowell||33||Portrush, Northern Ireland||4||5||18||3rd appearance|
|Francesco Molinari||29||Turin, Italy||5||8||31||2nd appearance|
|Luke Donald||34||High Wycombe, England||7||2||3||4th appearance|
|Lee Westwood||39||Worksop, England||10||4||4||8th appearance|
|Sergio García||32||Borriol, Spain||13||7||19||6th appearance|
|Peter Hanson||34||Trelleborg, Sweden||6||9||25||2nd appearance|
|Martin Kaymer||27||Mettmann, Germany||8||10||32||2nd appearance|
|Nicolas Colsaerts||29||Brussels, Belgium||9||12||35||Captain's pick, Ryder Cup rookie|
|Ian Poulter||36||Milton Keynes, England||17||11||26||Captain's pick, 4th appearance|
The European team consisted of the top 12 eligible players in the world rankings. The USA had 11 of their top 12 eligible players in the world rankings. The sole exception was the inclusion of Jim Furyk instead of Hunter Mahan (ranked 20, 12th USA golfer in world rankings)
|Donald/García||4 & 3||Mickelson/Bradley|
|Westwood/Molinari||3 & 2||Dufner/Z. Johnson|
|Poulter/Rose||2 & 1||Stricker/Woods|
Match 3 (Rose/Kaymer v. D. Johnson/Kuchar) started after Match 4 (Westwood/Colsearts v. Woods/Stricker). The table below reflects the official order.
|Lawrie/Hanson||5 & 4||Watson/Simpson|
|McIlroy/McDowell||2 & 1||Mickelson/Bradley|
|Rose/Kaymer||3 & 2||D. Johnson/Kuchar|
|Westwood/Donald||7 & 6||Bradley/Mickelson|
|Colsaerts/García||2 & 1||Dufner/Z. Johnson|
Match 1 (Colsaerts/Lawrie v. D. Johnson/Kuchar) started after Match 2 (Rose/Molinari v. Watson/Simpson). The table below reflects the official order.
|Colsaerts/Lawrie||1 up||D. Johnson/Kuchar|
|Rose/Molinari||5 & 4||Watson/Simpson|
|McIlroy/Poulter||1 up||Dufner/Z. Johnson|
Sunday's singles matches
|Luke Donald||2 & 1||Bubba Watson||1st: 7 - 10|
|Ian Poulter||2 up||Webb Simpson||4th: 10 - 10|
|Rory McIlroy||2 & 1||Keegan Bradley||3rd: 9 - 10|
|Justin Rose||1 up||Phil Mickelson||6th: 11 - 11|
|Paul Lawrie||5 & 3||Brandt Snedeker||2nd: 8 - 10|
|Nicolas Colsaerts||3 & 2||Dustin Johnson||5th: 10 - 11|
|Graeme McDowell||2 & 1||Zach Johnson||7th: 11 - 12|
|Sergio García||1 up||Jim Furyk||9th: 13 - 12|
|Peter Hanson||2 up||Jason Dufner||10th: 13 - 13|
|Lee Westwood||3 & 2||Matt Kuchar||8th: 12 - 12|
|Martin Kaymer||1 up||Steve Stricker||11th: 14 - 13|
|Francesco Molinari||halved||Tiger Woods||12th: 14½ - 13½|
In the United States, The Wall Street Journal asked how could "an extremely talented American Ryder Cup team blow a final-day lead as large as any ever blown in 85 years of Ryder Cup history", while Chicago Tribune sportswriter David Haugh described the defeat as "inexcusable" having led 10–4 at one point on Saturday afternoon. Captain Davis Love III came under scrutiny for his player selections, and USA Today centered its criticism on Tiger Woods, calling him a player the U.S. "could not rely on" and "who at times appeared to be barely here". Some American newspapers elected not to dedicate back-page columns to the event.
The European victory was met with elation across the continent. Spain's daily sport newspaper Marca ran the headline: "This one is for you, Seve". Britain's Daily Telegraph wrote that after an unprecedented summer of sporting achievements, including the Olympic Games in London, Bradley Wiggins' victory in the Tour de France and Andy Murray's first tennis major at the US Open, the Ryder Cup was incapable of "dullness, one-sidedness, and hollow drama" despite the looming anti-climax at the start of the singles matches on the final day. In a reference to the economic crisis on the continent, The Irish Times said that German Martin Kaymer had given Europe "a massive bailout that contributed to the most unlikeliest comeback in Ryder Cup history".
- "2012 Ryder Cup headed to Medinah Country Club". PGA of America. July 7, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- Dorman, Larry (October 4, 2010). "McDowell Seals Ryder Cup for Europe". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- Auclair, T.J. (January 20, 2011). "PGA picks Love III to lead Team USA". PGA of America. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- "Olazábal named European Team captain for 2012 Ryder Cup". PGA of America. January 18, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- "Ryder Cup 2012: Europe beat USA after record comeback". BBC. September 30, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
- "Europe Wins Golf's Ryder Cup". Sky News. October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- "Sporting comebacks to rival the Ryder Cup's Miracle of Medinah". BBC Sport. October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- Williams, Richard (October 1, 2012). "Europe seal Ryder Cup win with comeback of epic proportions". The Guardian (London). Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- "Team USA Captain Love picks Couples, Hulbert to serve as assistants". Rydercup.com. June 27, 2012.
- "Medinah's 15th could play key role". ESPN. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- "Ryder Cup 2012: Lee Westwood criticises Davis Love's 'weird' course". The Guardian (London). September 26, 2012.
- "Golf Course 3". Medinah Country Club. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- "New Qualification criteria for 2012 European Ryder Cup Team". Ryder Cup. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "European Ryder Cup Rankings". European Tour. July 23, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "Scottish golfer Martin Laird set to join European Tour". BBC. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- "Pettersson a Player Without a Ryder Cup Country". About.com. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- "2012 Ryder Cup Team Qualification Process". Ryder Cup. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "2012 Ryder Cup Team USA Standings". Ryder Cup. July 23, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "Love names two assistants, ponders four captain's picks". PGA of America. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- "Olazábal names three Ryder Cup vice captains". PGA European Tour. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "Olazábal names Miguel Angel Jiménez as his fourth vice captain". PGA European Tour. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- Murray, Scott (September 29, 2012). "Ryder Cup 2012 : day one – as it happened". The Guardian (London). Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Murray, Scott; Ingle, Sean (September 30, 2012). "Ryder Cup 2012 : day two – as it happened". The Guardian (London). Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Murray, Scott (October 1, 2012). "Ryder Cup 2012 : day three – as it happened". The Guardian (London). Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Haugh, David (September 30, 2012). "Epic Ryder Cup collapse on home turf inexcusable". Chicago Tribune.
- Bakowski, Gregg (October 1, 2012). "Ryder Cup US media reaction: 'Nightmarish Medin-ahhhhhhhhhh!'". The Guardian (London).
- Douglas, Steve (October 1, 2012). "European media, athletes hail Ryder Cup win". Montreal Gazette.
- Official website
- European Tour: 2012 Ryder Cup
- Golf Channel: 2012 Ryder Cup
- BBC Sport: 2012 Ryder Cup
- ESPN: 2012 Ryder Cup