Action replay: Golf: Jacklin's tears of joy for the European history- makers

Europe begins its defence of the Ryder Cup at Brookline, Boston, on Friday. Twelve years ago, at Columbus, Tony Jacklin led Europe to its first successful defence of the trophy on American soil. Tim Glover filed this report for The Independent
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GREAT BRITAIN and Europe won the Ryder Cup for the first time on American soil yesterday and it was appropriate that they should make history in Columbus. Tony Jacklin, the non-playing captain, led the side to a second successive victory, and it was the first occasion that the Europeans had retained the Cup.

The scene was reminiscent of the explosive and emotional displays of patriotism that greeted the triumph at The Belfry - the first since 1957 - two years ago.

Jacklin, OBE, who could become Sir Tony of Scunthorpe, broke into tears when it was confirmed that his side had secured victory. "It's amazing," was all he could mutter as he reached for his handkerchief and dabbed his eyes. In the buggy next to him Sevvy Ballesteros embraced Jacklin as the two drove down the 18th fairway and were greeted by tumultuous applause from the 2,000 European supporters among the crowd of 25,000.

Europe, who led 101/2-51/2 after the first two days, needed four points from the remaining 12 singles matches to ensure that the Ryder Cup travelled back with them on Concorde.

It was also fitting that Ballesteros, the outstanding competitor in the competition, should win the point that effectively won the cup. "It was tough," said Ballesteros. "I could see on the scoreboards that the Americans were closing the gap and I was aware of the consequence of my match."

The 33-year-old Spaniard defeated Curtis Strange 2 and 1 on the 17th green and it raised Europe's title to an unbeatable 141/2 out of a possible 28 points.

The tension was almost unbearable as the United States fought back tenaciously. They won six of the singles but, crucially, three others were halved and Europe won three to make the final score Europe 15, US 13.

In the first match Ian Woosnam, who had won three of his four matches and halved the other, was beaten by Andy Bean on the 18th green, and the amphitheatre was awash with red, white and blue. Jack Nicklaus the American captain, had issued 20,000 miniature Stars and Stripes to the spectators in an attempt to lift the American team.

The crowd had been criticised by Nicklaus after the first day's play for being too conservative. On the first tee yesterday a spectator sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and Dan Pohl apologised to his opponent, Howard Clark. "It was too late to book Lionel Ritchie," said Pohl.

The 18th hole became the stage of unforgettable drama. In the second match Clark and Pohl were all square, but on the final green the American collapsed like a dime-store suitcase. While Bean was being congratulated by his wife, his parents and Nicklaus, Pohl took a double-bogey six to Clark's par four. Clark had hit a massive drive of more than 300 yards and was on the green in two while Pohl went into a bunker and thinned his shot into another bunker on the other side of the green.

The 18th was like being at the theatre. In match three, Sam Torrance, of Scotland, was one down with one to play against Larry Mize, the US Masters champion. Mize hit his drive into a stream on the left and he was up the creek without a shot. He had to take a drop and a penalty but was on the green in four. He sank a 15ft putt, but it was academic. Torrance had hit a superb five-iron to the heart of the green. His first putt was fractionally right of the hole and as it travelled on its journey an American spectator cried "No, no, no!" Torrance, as he tapped in to halve the match, replied: "Yeah, yeah, yeah."

Jacklin was glancing nervously to the huge scoreboard on the 18th and it made uncomfortable reading: US 1 up; US 1 up; US 1 up; US 1 up; even; US 4 up; US 1 up; US 3 up. The fourth, fifth and sixth matches also reached a climax on the 18th. Nick Faldo, who had been so impressive in partnership with Woosnam in foursomes and four balls, was one down with one to play against Mark Calcaveccia and both took five to give the States another point.

By now Jacklin had turned to cigarettes and the United States crept closer when Payne Stewart defeated Jose Maria Olazabal by one hole.

Calcaveccia's victory made the score 12-8 and Stewart's 12-9. Then Scott Simpson, the US Open champion beat Jose Rivero 2 and 1 at the 17th and Tom Kite ended the 100 per cent record of Sandy Lyle with a 3 and 2 victory at the 16th.

Europe received an invaluable boost when Eamonn Darcy, who had played in only one match prior to yesterday, came home with a victory over Ben Crenshaw, also at the last.

At 2.45 on another glorious day Jacklin was told on his personal radio that Ballesteros had defeated Strange on the 17th green. Both had par fours and Ballesteros was two up with one to play. "This is the greatest week of my life," said Jacklin. "This victory will change the course of world golf. The Americans played their hearts out and I was as proud of them as Jack was."

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