- Top Tens home
- Top Ten Manor moments
skysports.com runs down the top ten best moments from an enthralling and extended Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
Europe claimed the Ryder Cup back after a nail-biting 14½-13½ victory in Wales, in an event that had everything with rain delays, mud baths and an historic extension of play into a fourth day.
Colin Montgomerie's men eventually triumphed, but it came right back down to the final match on the fourth and final day, with Graeme McDowell beating Hunter Mahan on the 17th to claim the spoils.
G-Mac sinks it on 16
After Rickie Fowler's brilliant comeback half against Edoardo Molinari, suddenly everything came down to McDowell's match with Mahan. From three-up at 11, Mahan's win on 15 saw him just one down with three to play and now the Americans sensed a dramatic comeback victory. However, McDowell held his nerve and sank a wonderful putt on 16 to go back to two-up, and it was too much for Mahan who crumbled on the 17th.
Following that remarkable putt on 16, McDowell had his tail, and those of the 35,000 fans watching, well and truly up, and that pressure proved too much for Mahan to stomach. After leaving his tee-shot on the par three short, he then agonisingly duffed his chip, and missed his long-range putt to hand Europe victory. Cue a huge pitch invasion and celebrations never before seen in golf.
They think it's all over...
Those fans who took sick days, booked an extra night in B&Bs around Newport and left their wives back at home with their kids, were rewarded by witnessing an historic day of golf. Stewards tried to stop fans crowding the 17th green but every one of the 35,000 knew this match was the one - and when GMac claimed the Cup they rushed onto the putting surface to celebrate with their heroes. It took an age for Monty's men to get through the jubilant fans back to the clubhouse, but after such a troubled few days the players happily joined in with the partying.
At the instigation of Graeme McDowell and his caddy, the European team donned fluffy black wigs for their practice rounds in homage to Rory McIlroy's flowing locks. Comments have been made about the young Northern Irishman's hairstyle for some time, and his close mate could not pass up the chance to rib his compatriot by organising the wigs to welcome the rookie into the Ryder Cup.
The American waterproofs did not impress anyone from the start, and during Friday's opening-day downpour, the American players soon complained that their wet weather gear did not, well, keep out the wet weather. Embarrassed officials then raced out during the rain break and had to go to the Ryder Cup merchandise tent and buy new ones for the players to wear on the resumption of play.
Poor old Corey Pavin endured some difficult times during the week, but he handled his biggest gaffe well as he forgot to introduce Stewart Cink as he read the names of his players out at the opening ceremony. A red-faced Cink was left sitting as the rest of his team stood for their introduction, but Pavin handled it very well despite suffering the obvious embarrassment.
Ian Poulter said himself he lives for the Ryder Cup, and he proved to be a huge influence on the team once again with both his confidence and demeanour off the course and his play on it. A crowd favourite, Poulter oozed confidence before his singles match and confidently predicted 'I will win a point'. His bold prediction raised eyebrows, but he produced a memorable chip-in en route to delivering a 5&4 win, backing up his words with his action.
First Tee frolics
Organisers knew exactly what they were doing when building a huge stand around the first tee at Celtic Manor, and it did the trick as it provided an electric atmosphere to kick-off the event. Crowds packed into the stands and the ovations the players received as they turned the corner towards the tee was something special in golf and something that will be hard to beat in any sport. Even the Americans had their fun, with some comical comments from the crowd such as 'Lend us a tenner, Jim' towards FedEx jackpot winner Furyk and 'He's got more hair than you' directed at Stewart Cink when playing Rory McIlroy.
Another of many firsts over the weekend, as a seven-hour delay on day one left the entire event in disarray and a Monday finish inevitable. Organisers desperate to make up for lost time broke with tradition and fielded two sessions of six matches on the Saturday, mixing up foursomes and fourballs. Every member of the 12-man teams also played in both sessions for the first time - but it meant a lengthy and thrilling day of golf for the fans.
Ryder Cup rookie Jeff Overton was a revelation and despite not being top points scorer he was a big plus for the USA side all week, from the first day when he combined with Bubba Watson to win their fourballs match comfortably. Overton also holed his second shot for an eagle on the par-four 8th on Sunday before battering Ross Fisher in the singles. Overall 'Boom Baby' Overton hit 11 birdies and an eagle in 50 holes played fully by himself, not bad for a rookie.
Related Top Tens
Sky Sports counts down ten of the best North London derbies ahead of Sunday's clash.
We pick out the star pupils from the 2012 draft class, including a pair of record breaking quarterbacks.
Twenty years after joining Manchester United, we look back at Eric Cantona's top 10 memorable moments.
We count down 10 summer signings who will get their first taste of the Premier League this weekend.
Thomas Hill takes a look back at 10 memorable moments from Community Shields gone by.
Sky Sports counts down 10 players who are attracting persistent transfer speculation this summer.
We look at 10 footballers worth keeping an eye on at this summer's London Olympics.
Sky Sports takes a look at 10 players who will feel they need to impress in the Premier League.
Ahead of England's Euro 2012 quarter-final clash with Italy, we look at 10 previous contests.
With Euro 2012 up and running, we take a look at the top 10 upsets in the history of the event.