Miracle at Medinah 2012

The ‘Miracle at Medinah’ was the term coined by the European media to describe an unlikely victory for the European team, captained by José María Olazábal, in the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club, Illinois in September, 2012. Heading into the 12 singles matches on the final day, Europe trailed 10-6, therefore requiring 8 points to retain the Ryder Cup and 8½ points to win it outright. Only once before had such a deficit been overturned, by the US team in the so-called ‘Battle of Brookline’ – subsequently described by European captain Sam Torrance as ‘the most disgraceful and disgusting day in the history of professional golf’ – in 1999.

Prophetically, commentator Peter Alliss said, ‘A European victory can still happen, but they have to get away to a good start.’ That they did, winning the first four singles matches, courtesy of Luke Donald, Paul Lawrie, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter to tie the scores 10-10. The scores were tied again at 13-13, but Steve Stricker three-putted the penultimate hole to give Martin Kaymer a one-hole lead; the German held his nerve, rolling home a crucial five-foot putt on the final hole to put Europe in an unassailable position at 14-13. In the final match, Tiger Woods unceremoniously bogeyed the eighteenth and conceded the hole to Italian Francesco Molinari, halving the match and handing Europe victory at 14½–13½.

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