Despite a lack of sleep and still in recovery mode from shock, this Monday has been a particularly happy one, solely due to Europe’s absolutely breathless display in the Ryder Cup.
I begun reflecting on other major sporting comebacks and I could not think of anything that compared. Liverpool’s last minute clinch Champions League win over AC Milan comes close, as well as France’s awesome display turning over New Zealand in 1999 Rugby World Cup – BUT the sustained and united defiance of the European team to turn the fortunes around tops them all!
Leading in to the final day 10 – 6 down, the chances of Europe making a comeback to retain the cup were very very slim! During the team meeting on the Saturday evening, team captain Jose Maria Olazabal stated that ‘he believed’ in his team. Every other day of the golfing calendar these sportsman are competing against each other in golfing tournaments all around the world for serious cash, but for this special weekend they are all brothers in arms, not playing for money but for their team and country. Ryder Cup golf is a true example of how working in a team can bring out the best of one’s personality!
The US team might have had their 13th man consisting of the 45,000 strong crowd eagerly traipsing round the course supporting their golfing heroes….but the Europeans had a more powerful 13th man working his force, the spirit of the legendary Seve Ballesteros.
It was evident that on the Sunday, all of the European players had taken a nugget of Ian Poulter’s self belief and used it to great effect. Poulter’s display on the Saturday was a true example of how inner confidence and belief can work miracles. A commentator stated “The European team have the current number one (Rory McIlroy) and two former number ones (Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald) and one who thinks he is number one! (Yep you’ve guessed it Ian Poulter).
You only have to look in to Ian Poulter’s eyes after a sinking a put to see that there was never any doubt that he was going to miss it. This poem by C. W. Longenecker sums up Europe’s display to a tee!
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.
Well done boys!! I think it will take quite some time to come down from this cloud and I cannot wait to get back out on the golf course! Olleee, olleee, olleeee, olleeee, olleee!