Whet the appetite for Gleneagles 2014 by looking back to the Miracle At Medinah
By Dave Tindall Twitter: @DaveTindallgolf. Last Updated: 24/09/13 7:10pm
Martin Kaymer celebrates his decisive putt
US skipper Davis Love must still have nightmares. Just how exactly did the 2012 Ryder Cup slip from the grasp of the Americans?
For the best part of two days, the hosts had hardly put a foot wrong in front of the whooping Chicago crowds.
Inspired by the veteran/rookie combo of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, the Americans had roared into a 10-4 lead and had high hopes of giving themselves an even bigger advantage ahead of the Sunday singles.
However, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia cut the gap to five before Ian Poulter, already a hero in this event, took his Ryder Cup legend to even greater heights.
With playing partner Rory McIlroy a virtual spectator, Poulter birdied the final five holes of their Saturday fourballs to secure another vital point and give Europe belief that they could pull off an improbable comeback.
Improbable became virtually impossible at times during the final day singles despite plenty of early European blue on the board.
But, inspired by the spirit of Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and his men produced what would become 'The Miracle of Medinah'.
The points kept coming and when Justin Rose drained a bomb on 17 and holed a clincher at 18 to turn defeat into victory against Phil Mickelson, the thrilling possibility of retaining the Cup was a reality.
The chance to make history fell on the shoulders of Martin Kaymer. The German just needed to get down in two on the final green to secure Europe that magical 14th point but, to Olazabal's horror, he rolled his first putt a good six feet past.
Suddenly the memory of compatriot Bernhard Langer's missed putt at Kiawah Island reared its head as Kaymer paced his putt. The tension was electric.
But this time it was different. Kaymer knew it was good as soon as he'd it and raised his arms with the ball still on its way to the hole.
A split second later, the ball had dropped. Europe, against all odds, had retained the Ryder Cup.
Incredibly it was to get even better.
Behind Kaymer, there was still one more match out on the course - Francesco Molinari against Tiger Woods.
One-up and in in pole position at the last, Tiger's point looked set to make the final score 14-14 - not good enough to win them back the trophy but still sufficient to give Love some pride at a tied contest.
But when Tiger's close-range birdie chip lipped out, he missed a three footer for par and astonishingly conceded Molinari's putt of similar length.
Now there was cause for even more champagne. Not only had Europe retained the trophy, they'd actually won the match 14.5-13.5.
One year on the feeling is still very much the same. This was one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.
* To watch the full Miracle At Medinah documentary, click here