Straight from the Ryder Cup Match Media Center

The 37th Ryder Cup Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008
Final Media Update

The United States won the Ryder Cup today for the first time since 1999, defeating Europe, 16 ? to 11 ?, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

The victory by the United States ends a string of three consecutive Ryder Cup triumphs by the Europeans (2002, 2004 and 2006), and is the largest margin of victory for the U.S. since 1981, when they prevailed, 18 ? to 9 ?.

This is also the first time since 1979 (the year all of Europe was incorporated into the Ryder Cup) that the U.S. led after each session.

Other notes of interest:

Jim Furyk clinched the Ryder Cup today on the 17th hole with his 2-and-1 win over Miguel Angel Jimenez. In 1999, Justin Leonard clinched the Ryder Cup for the Americans with a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

In the 15 Ryder Cups held since all of Europe was brought into the Ryder Cup in 1979, each side has won seven times, and there has been one tie.

The U.S. last won the singles matches in 1999, when the Americans captured 8 ? points and Europe 3 ?. Today, the Americans won seven singles to four for Europe. There was one halve.

The final score of 16-1/2 to 11-1/2 in favor of the United States was greater than most of my colleagues in the media center would have dared to imagine.

My MVP’s for the American team are the two rookies that we will be hearing lots more from in the future; Anthony Kim and Boo Weekley. Kim took the fire out of Sergio Garcia by opening the first match with a birdie/birdie start and shot 5 under on the front nine. Weekley had five birdies and an eagle while dismantling Europe’s rookie Oliver Wilson 4-2.

Not enough can be said for the Kentucky native sons; 48 year old Kenny Perry and JB Holmes who both had outstanding matches all week long and gave that local flavor to an international crowd of 40,000 golf nuts. When it came to crunch time, Jim Furyk showed his veteran mettle by closing out Miguel Angel Jiminez 2 and 1 to win the Ryder Cup for the first time since the “miracle” at Brookline, Mass in 1999.

Good for them, and good for Captain Paul Azinger. Did they miss Tiger Woods? Probably; but you couldn’t tell. The US team was decked out for the final day of competition in “Tiger Red” shirts but his name never came up and obviously this group of 12 was most certainly a TEAM. Two years from now, the Americans will take the 17″ gold cup to the Celtic Manor in Wales where the 38th Matches will be played on Welsh soil for the first time. I can hardly wait.

Jim Judge
GAM Correspondent

Final individual player records:

Ian Poulter 4-1-0
Justin Rose 3-1-0
Graeme McDowell 2-1-1
Robert Karlsson 1-1-2
Henrik Stenson 1-2-1
Oliver Wilson 1-1-0
Paul Casey 0-1-2
Sergio Garcia 0-2-2
Lee Westwood 0-2-2
Soren Hansen 0-2-1
Miguel Angel Jimenez 0-2-1
Padraig Harrington 0-3-1

United States
Hunter Mahan 2-0-3
J.B. Holmes 2-0-1
Boo Weekley 2-0-1
Justin Leonard 2-1-1
Jim Furyk 2-1-1
Anthony Kim 2-1-1
Kenny Perry 2-1-1
Chad Campell 2-1-0
Phil Mickelson 1-2-2
Stewart Cink 1-2-0
Ben Curtis 1-1-1
Steve Stricker 0-2-1

Kentuckians Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes delivered for the commonwealth this week, going a combined 4-1-2 in their matches.

The six rookies on the U.S. Team Ben Curtis, J.B. Holmes, Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Boo Weekley combined for a 9-4-8 record.

The four rookies on the European Team Soren Hansen, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose and Oliver Wilson — also fared well, with a collective record of 6-5-2.

Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington did not win a match this week.

Anthony Kims 5-and-4 victory over Sergio Garcia in the first singles match is the most dominant win by a U.S. rookie since David Duval defeated Jesper Parnevik, 5 and 4, in 1999.

U.S. Team rookies Anthony Kim, Boo Weekley and J.B. Holmes won their singles matches today, marking the first time since 1989 that three American rookies won their singles matches. The three from 89 Mark McCumber, Chip Beck and Paul Azinger, the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain.

Ben Curtis won five of the last seven holes to beat Lee Westwood, 2 and 1.

In the singles matches, the U.S. made 56 birdies and Europe had 52. Five eagles were made today, with four of them coming at the par-5 seventh hole. Three of the eagles at No. 7 were made by Americans (Kim, Perry, Weekley).

Electrifying shot of the singles matches: Hunter Mahans 35-foot birdie putt at No. 17 to put him 1-up. He and Paul Casey would halve the match.

A total of 10 of the 28 matches this week finished on the 18th hole, with Europe winning the 18th hole three times and the U.S. twice. Five times the home hole was halved.

The 38th Ryder Cup will be held from Sept. 28 through Oct. 3, at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales. That will mark the first time that the Ryder Cup will be held in that country.