US regains Ryder Cup after Bush invokes Alamo

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The Independent Online
AFTER ONE of the most emotionally charged comebacks in sporting history, the golfers of the United States regained the Ryder Cup last night at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, destroying their European opponents one by one in the final day of the 72-year-old competition.

Trailing badly after the doubles matches on Friday and Saturday, the US team gathered tolisten to speeches from the players, their wives, the captain, Ben Crenshaw, and the man who hopes to be their nation's next president, George W Bush, the Governor of Texas. Mr Bush's appeal to the Alamo spirit apparently had the desired effect, as the US golfers attacked the final 12 head-to-head matches with a vigour that drew a vociferous response from the 40,000 spectators.

Carrying history on their shoulders, in the form of team shirts bearing pictures of their predecessors, the US team regained the trophy after two consecutive defeats, by subjecting the European team to seven hours of unrelenting pressure. Tiger Woods and David Duval were among those who ensured that the US won the first eight singles matches to finish.

The decisive half-point came when Justin Leonard sank a long putt that gave him the chance to halve his match with Jose Maria Olazabal. At that point, with the Spaniard waiting to make his own putt, the entire American team, and several television crews, flooded on to the 17th green.

The European assistant captain, Sam Torrance, called the celebrations, led by the US players and their wives, "the most disgusting thing I've seen in my life". He said: "This is not sour grapes. The whole American team and spectators ran right across the green over his [Olazabal's] line."

The Spaniard subsequently failed to sink his 25-yard putt - handing the Americans a historic victory. The American player Tom Lehman admitted that the premature celebrations had been "over-the-top".

Full reports, Sport section

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