“as close to insurmountable as trying to climb Mt. Everest wearing a T-shirt, cargo shorts and flip-flops!”
It was the evening of September 29 2012 and the United States were winning 10 to 6 ahead of the final day of the Ryder Cup competition in Medinah, Illinois. Gene Wojciechowski, senior national columnist for ESPN, penned an article titled “Ryder Cup all but locked up for U.S.” in anticipation of American success the following day. For Europeans, it now makes for particularly enjoyable reading:
“It’s over. Olazabal can click off the walkie-talkie and take the IFB out of his ear. Time for the Europeans to fire up the private jets and head back home to Florida. I wish it were different – I really do. But overcome a 10-6 deficit? Win eight of 12 singles matches? I’ve got a feeling Team Europe is doomed. I’ve got a feeling that Tiger Woods isn’t going to go 0-for-Medinah. I’ve got a feeling that the eight veterans in that USA team room are reminding the four rookies it’s time to step on a few throats. “It puts us in a nice spot,” said Steve Stricker. He was being polite. Team USA has the kind of two-day lead that Cup captains pray for. It is as close to insurmountable as trying to climb Mt. Everest wearing a T-shirt, cargo shorts and flip-flops…
Meanwhile, Team Europe has to play near flawless golf. And it has to do it with four guys who haven’t won a match (Martin Kaymer, Peter Hanson, Francesco Molinari, Paul Lawrie), two of whom didn’t play at all on Saturday (Hanson and Kaymer)… “Yeah, of course, there’s a chance,” said [Rory] McIlroy.
A chance, nothing more. A minuscule, “Do-you-believe-in-miracles?” chance. If it happens – if Team Europe leaves with the cup for the seventh time in the past nine competitions – then you’ll hear a roar all the way from Spain, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Belgium. Fathers will name their newborns Ian. Olazabal won’t have to take a flight back; he can float there.”
Unfortunately for the hapless Gene Wojciechowski, Europe produced a stunning final-day comeback to win the Ryder Cup at a shell-shocked Medinah, clinching a historic 14½-13½ win.