On This Day In 2008: Louisville Ryder Cup Misery For Nick Faldo’s European Team

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

The Ryder Cup returned to American hands in Louisville, Muhammad Ali’s hometown, when Europe captain Nick Faldo’s plan to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” went up in smoke.

Trailing by two points in the final 12 singles in Valhalla, Faldo was stung in the tail, putting Padraig Harrington in last despite the danger of the Open and PGA champion’s showdown with Chad Campbell becoming irrelevant.

So it was, and the final score was a resounding 16 1/2-11 1/2 triumph for the United States.

Paul Azinger’s team, ending a three-game losing streak, took the win with four games – those involving not just Harrington but also star of the week Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell – still on the field.

With the wind taken from his sails, Poulter managed to take four wins out of five to be Top Scorer of the Week and rookie McDowell also won, but Westwood and Harrington both lost and thus ended the event without a win between them.

For Harrington, a mere half-dot in his name was the same story from The K Club two years earlier. His two big wins made him a fantastic 2008, of course, but as far as the Ryder Cup goes, he peaked too soon.

As for Westwood, he ended it with an attack on the Kentucky mobs.

I was abused from start to finish, and I don’t think this is golf

Lee Westwood

“Some of the things I was told were embarrassing,” Westwood said. “I was abused from start to finish and I don’t think this is golf.”

Faldo said his singles request was a team decision, but it was only six years before Curtis Strange kicked out Tiger Woods in 12th at The Belfry and that didn’t matter either.

Azinger said: “We just had a plan and we stuck to it. We created a 13th man with the crowd, and they behaved beautifully.

“The guys had an ‘everything to gain’ attitude and came together as a group. In the end, it all comes down to putting in the heart, and our guys had a lot of heart.”

The Ryder Cup returned to American hands in Louisville, Muhammad Ali’s hometown, when Europe captain Nick Faldo’s plan to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” went up in smoke.

Trailing by two points in the final 12 singles in Valhalla, Faldo was stung in the tail, putting Padraig Harrington in last despite the danger of the Open and PGA champion’s showdown with Chad Campbell becoming irrelevant.

So it was, and the final score was a resounding 16 1/2-11 1/2 triumph for the United States.

Paul Azinger’s team, ending a three-game losing streak, took the win with four games – those involving not just Harrington but also star of the week Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell – still on the field.

With the wind taken from his sails, Poulter managed to take four wins out of five to be Top Scorer of the Week and rookie McDowell also won, but Westwood and Harrington both lost and thus ended the event without a win between them.

For Harrington, a mere half-dot in his name was the same story from The K Club two years earlier. His two big wins made him a fantastic 2008, of course, but as far as the Ryder Cup goes, he peaked too soon.

As for Westwood, he ended it with an attack on the Kentucky mobs.

I was abused from start to finish, and I don’t think this is golf

Lee Westwood

“Some of the things I was told were embarrassing,” Westwood said. “I was abused from start to finish and I don’t think this is golf.”

Faldo said his singles request was a team decision, but it was only six years before Curtis Strange kicked out Tiger Woods in 12th at The Belfry and that didn’t matter either.

Azinger said: “We just had a plan and we stuck to it. We created a 13th man with the crowd, and they behaved beautifully.

“The guys had an ‘everything to gain’ attitude and came together as a group. In the end, it all comes down to putting in the heart, and our guys had a lot of heart.”

The Ryder Cup returned to American hands in Louisville, Muhammad Ali’s hometown, when Europe captain Nick Faldo’s plan to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” went up in smoke.

Trailing by two points in the final 12 singles in Valhalla, Faldo was stung in the tail, putting Padraig Harrington in last despite the danger of the Open and PGA champion’s showdown with Chad Campbell becoming irrelevant.

So it was, and the final score was a resounding 16 1/2-11 1/2 triumph for the United States.

Paul Azinger’s team, ending a three-game losing streak, took the win with four games – those involving not just Harrington but also star of the week Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell – still on the field.

With the wind taken from his sails, Poulter managed to take four wins out of five to be Top Scorer of the Week and rookie McDowell also won, but Westwood and Harrington both lost and thus ended the event without a win between them.

For Harrington, a mere half-dot in his name was the same story from The K Club two years earlier. His two big wins made him a fantastic 2008, of course, but as far as the Ryder Cup goes, he peaked too soon.

As for Westwood, he ended it with an attack on the Kentucky mobs.

I was abused from start to finish, and I don’t think this is golf

Lee Westwood

“Some of the things I was told were embarrassing,” Westwood said. “I was abused from start to finish and I don’t think this is golf.”

Faldo said his singles request was a team decision, but it was only six years before Curtis Strange kicked out Tiger Woods in 12th at The Belfry and that didn’t matter either.

Azinger said: “We just had a plan and we stuck to it. We created a 13th man with the crowd, and they behaved beautifully.

“The guys had an ‘everything to gain’ attitude and came together as a group. In the end, it all comes down to putting in the heart, and our guys had a lot of heart.”

The Ryder Cup returned to American hands in Louisville, Muhammad Ali’s hometown, when Europe captain Nick Faldo’s plan to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” went up in smoke.

Trailing by two points in the final 12 singles in Valhalla, Faldo was stung in the tail, putting Padraig Harrington in last despite the danger of the Open and PGA champion’s showdown with Chad Campbell becoming irrelevant.

So it was, and the final score was a resounding 16 1/2-11 1/2 triumph for the United States.

Paul Azinger’s team, ending a three-game losing streak, took the win with four games – those involving not just Harrington but also star of the week Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell – still on the field.

With the wind taken from his sails, Poulter managed to take four wins out of five to be Top Scorer of the Week and rookie McDowell also won, but Westwood and Harrington both lost and thus ended the event without a win between them.

For Harrington, a mere half-dot in his name was the same story from The K Club two years earlier. His two big wins made him a fantastic 2008, of course, but as far as the Ryder Cup goes, he peaked too soon.

As for Westwood, he ended it with an attack on the Kentucky mobs.

I was abused from start to finish, and I don’t think this is golf

Lee Westwood

“Some of the things I was told were embarrassing,” Westwood said. “I was abused from start to finish and I don’t think this is golf.”

Faldo said his singles request was a team decision, but it was only six years before Curtis Strange kicked out Tiger Woods in 12th at The Belfry and that didn’t matter either.

Azinger said: “We just had a plan and we stuck to it. We created a 13th man with the crowd, and they behaved beautifully.

“The guys had an ‘everything to gain’ attitude and came together as a group. In the end, it all comes down to putting in the heart, and our guys had a lot of heart.”

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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