Europe won, the Team of the Year award
According to the recent sports news, Europe’s Ryder Cup team have been named the Sports Personality Team of the Year after their success at Celtic Manor. The 12, captained by Colin Montgomerie, regained the historic title by beating the United States 14½-13½. Team USA led 6-4 after the first two sessions during a rain-affected event before Europe fought back to gain a 9½-6½ advantage going into the singles. Europe won when Graeme McDowell clinched victory on the 17th against Hunter Mahan in the last singles group.
The European team also included Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Edoardo Molinari, Peter Hanson, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Montgomerie was backed up by five vice-captains – Jose Maria Olazabal, Thomas Bjorn, Paul McGinley and Sergio Garcia.
The match, which had to be concluded a day later than scheduled due to heavy rain at the Welsh course, went down to the wire. The score was tied at 13½-13½ with only Ulsterman McDowell and Mahan of the US left on the course. McDowell, who won the US Open in June, knew he had to win the match to stop the US from retaining the Ryder Cup. And he held his nerve, sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th to go two holes up with two to play and Mahan capitulated on the 17th, fluffing a chip to the green and eventually conceding the hole and match.
An emotionally drained Montgomerie said at the time: “This means the world to everyone involved in the European Tour. I didn’t hit a shot, yet it is a proud, proud moment for me personally. It’s an amazing feeling to have won. I’d also like to pay tribute to my vice-captains, because we wouldn’t have won the Ryder Cup without them.”
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