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Valhalla GC, Kentucky
19-21 September

37th Ryder Cup - USA v Europe
Highlights: BBC2 Monday 1900-1930

Paul Azinger talks to Gary Lineker

Azinger relieved after Ryder Cup win

Victorious United States captain Paul Azinger said the passionate support of the home fans had been the key factor in his team regaining the Ryder Cup.

The Valhalla fans were vociferous throughout as the US ended Europe's recent domination with a 16½-11½ win.

"It was a great day - I'm proud of my players, they really ground it out," Azinger told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The crowd energised our players for the whole week - the 13th man really made the difference."

But Azinger's verdict on the home fans was not shared by Europe's Lee Westwood, who said the conduct of some of the galleries had been "shameful" and worse than at the infamous Brookline event in 1999.

Azinger sent out Anthony Kim first off to take on European talisman Sergio Garcia, and saw the debutant pull off a famous 5&4 victory to set the day off on the right note for the US.

"It is the best day of my golfing life," said the 23-year-old.

"I wanted to come out here and give the fans what they wanted to see. I got chills up my spine the whole day and I'm loving every minute of it. I wouldn't trade this for $10m."

Victories for Europe's Robert Karlsson and Justin Rose raised European hopes, but the US players in the middle of the order - Kenny Perry, Boo Weekley, JB Holmes and Jim Furyk - all won to get Azinger's team over the finishing line and spark huge celebrations, despite four matches still being contested out on the course.

Azinger's team, which included six debutants and four wildcards, took a two-point lead into the final day's singles, and the 48-year-old admitted he felt helpless watching the action unfold on the course.

"I felt so much pressure but I had no control," said Azinger.

"I watched these guys play with heart, instinct, and courage and I'm so happy.

"These guys earned it and they really deserved it."


Furyk, who won the crucial point against Miguel Angel Jimenez to take the US to the 14½ required, said the victory felt all the sweeter for him after experiencing the last three unsuccessful campaigns.

"It feels great. I've been on the other side when Paul McGinley won it for Europe," said Furyk.

"I feel bad about Miguel because he's a class act and I think the world about him and his game.

"It's not his fault and I feel bad for him, but I feel great for my team-mates

"Paul shook things up, we had a lot of young talent and that made the difference. He provided a great atmosphere."

It's only one win and nothing like what the Europeans have done in the last nine years

World number two Phil Mickelson

World number two Phil Mickelson lost his singles match to Justin Rose, but he was delighted to finally regain the Ryder Cup trophy.

"I think excitement is the emotion everyone feels," said Mickelson.

"No-one expected us to play well this week and we were here without our number one player (Tiger Woods).

"The Europeans played great golf on Saturday and could only make a one-point dent in our lead. Look at how our young guys played - the Kentucky guys (Perry and Holmes) ultimately won us this match.

"It was awesome. I had so much fun with Anthony Kim (who he was paired with in the fourballs and foursomes). I've been laughing all week with him.

"We had six guys that have only seen victory. A lot of the guys won't have the baggage of the last decade but it's only one win and nothing like what the Europeans have done in the last nine years."


C Campbell P 3 - W 2 L 1 H 0 (2 pts)

S Cink P 3 - W 1 L 2 H 0 (1 pt)

B Curtis P 3 - W 1 L 1 H 1 (1½ pts)

J Furyk P 4 - W 2 L 1 H 1 (2½ pts)

JB Holmes P 3 - W 2 L 0 H 1 (2½ pts)

A Kim P 4 - W 2 L 1 H 1 (2½ pts)

J Leonard P 4 - W 2 L 1 H 1 (2½ pts)

H Mahan P 5 - W 2 L 0 H 3 (3½ pts)

P Mickelson P 5 - W 1 L 2 H 2 (2 pts)

K Perry P 4 - W 2 L 1 H 1 (2½ pts)

S Stricker P 3 - W 0 L 2 H 1 (½ pt)

B Weekley P 3 - W 2 L 0 H 1 (2½ pts)

see also
US secure emphatic Ryder Cup win
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
Faldo proud of team despite loss
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
Westwood hurt by 'shameful' abuse
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
Ryder Cup final day photos
21 Sep 08 |  Golf
US lead Europe after dramatic day
20 Sep 08 |  Golf
Europe launch Ryder Cup fightback
20 Sep 08 |  Golf
Off-form Harrington 'needed' rest
20 Sep 08 |  Golf
US surge clear as Europe struggle
19 Sep 08 |  Golf
US hit back to snatch Ryder lead
19 Sep 08 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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