Ryder Cup: Jose Maria Olazabal says tournament turned on Saturday afternoon
Monday 01 October 2012
Europe may have taken 8 1/2 points from 12 singles matches to win the Ryder Cup - but captain Jose Maria Olazabal believes the seeds were sown the previous afternoon.
The Spaniard saw his players win the final two fourballs on Saturday to cut the deficit to 10-6 going into the final day, giving them hope and crucial momentum.
Ian Poulter birdied his last five holes as he and Rory McIlroy beat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, while Olazabal's compatriot Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald saw off Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.
And Olazabal said: "The most important part of the week was Saturday afternoon, that session was crucial and I think the players got the feeling of the atmosphere of the Ryder Cup.
"Down the stretch the crowds were very loud but we managed to turn the tide that afternoon session, and I think that was key.
"The way those last two matches went turned around the whole context of the Ryder Cup."
Olazabal hailed the victory as the greatest moment of his career and paid tribute to his close friend Seve Ballesteros, who died last year.
"It's going to take a little while before it completely sinks in," Olazabal told Sky Sports News.
"It's been a very emotional week, especially when things were not going our way, but yesterday everything turned round for us, our players made the putts and had the right breaks at the right times.
"We changed a couple of crucial matches around down the stretch and that gave us the chance to have this trophy back.
"It's completely different from playing, being a Ryder Cup captain. I think in my career it ranks number one."
The 46-year-old lost only two of 15 Ryder Cup games with Ballesteros as his partner and admitted: "Seve's been on my mind the whole week, during the whole journey of this Ryder Cup.
"We had his silhouette and his name on the last day but obviously I had Seve in my mind every day.
"When we managed to retain the trophy, all those memories were very vividly coming to life.
"If someone had written a script for it, that would be the ideal one and for it to happen, Seve had to have something to do with it."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3: 'We're upset we didn't score more goals,' admits Steven Gerrard
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3: 'That was my worst day in football,' concedes Wayne Rooney
Tottenham Hotspur 0 Arsenal 1 match report: Tomas Rosicky rocket leaves Spurs in Arsenal’s slip-stream
Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3 player ratings: Who scored highest - Steven Gerrard or Luis Suarez?
Mo Farah allays health fears after passing out in New York half-marathon defeat
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 4 Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say