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  Monday, 30 September, 2002, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Ryder spirit back on course
Sam Torrance embraces US captain Curtis Strange after seeing his Europe team win the Ryder Cup
A sense of goodwill descended after Europe's win

It is the closing stages of the Ryder Cup, and a difficult long putt is sunk, sending players storming on to the green in jubiliation.

Sound familiar?

Perhaps - but the unconfined joy of the Europeans at The Belfry on Sunday had a very different feeling to the American invasion of the green at Brookline.

Indeed, after the acrimony and anger of 1999, the end of the 34th Ryder Cup seemed little short of a mutual love-in, with both teams falling over themselves to praise each other.

But has the true spirit of Samuel Ryder's famous competition returned? Or were the teams forcing smiles to present a unified public face?


Pre-Cup sparring

Ahead of the tournament, there was precious little for a drama-hungry media to get stuck into.

There were minor controversies such as when Justin Leonard failed to condemn the American celebration of three years ago - but the overall atmosphere was genial.

Goodwill spirit - Bad vibes


Tiger snaps at snapper

The fans did not have to wait long for the first Tiger Woods strop of the Ryder Cup.

He was distracted by photographers as he shot from the rough into sand at the first, and flashed them a murderous look, exclaiming "Gee guys, golly".

It may have been more handbags than brickbats, but after Tiger's well-publicised antipathy to the Ryder Cup, it certainly did not help the atmosphere.

Goodwill spirit -1 Bad vibes


Monty's merrymaking

Colin Montgomerie - sullen, bad-tempered misery-guts, or jovial leader brightening up the course with his ever-present smile?

Colin Montgomerie's smile was never far away during the Ryder Cup
Colin Montgomerie's good humour won him many fans

Unexpectedly, it was the latter in evidence at the Belfry with Monty - perhaps spurred by his remarkable return to form - grinning like a Cheshire Cat throughout his five matches.

The highlight was during practice on Sunday when Monty encouraged a heckler to come out of the crowd and see if he could do better.

The heckler produced a blinding shot, and Monty was generous with his praise - all this less than an hour ahead of one of the most important matches of his career.

Goodwill spirit 1-1 Bad vibes


Hoch's grace under fire

Even in a country where 80% of residents do not have a valid passport, Scott Hoch is regarded as a bad traveller.

Yet despite his lack of enthusiasm about playing over here, he took his trouncing by Monty in the singles with dignity.

He even joked following the Scot's great shot to the green at the 13th, after which Hoch picked up the ball and pretended to throw it into the crowd, before handing it back to Monty and conceding the putt.

OK, maybe not an act of comedy genius - but far more good-natured than anyone had a right to expect.

Goodwill spirit 2-1 Bad vibes


A Love-ly gesture
Davis Love during his singles match with Pierre Fulke on the final day at The Belfry
Davis Love was generous in halving his match

Davis Love, playing Pierre Fulke in the singles, was miffed as Sergio Garcia came running down the 18th fairway after McGinley's winning putt.

Following the celebrations, Fulke offered to concede the hole but Love - no doubt inwardly seething at the Spaniard's intervention - generously declined and agreed to halve.

Goodwill spirit 3-1 Bad vibes


Verplank's not singing anymore

Scott Verplank displayed a good knowledge of Midlands football culture during his singles match with Lee Westwood.

After sinking a birdie putt, Verplank cupped his hand against his ear to indicate how he felt he had silenced The Belfry crowd.

Goodwill spirit 3-2 Bad vibes


Strange and beautiful

As expected, Sam Torrance offered some generous words for the Americans in his victory speech - but it is so much easier to be magnanimous after winning.

It was Curtis Strange who banished the spectre of Brookline, praising his men, the European team and labelling The Belfry crowd as the "toughest and fairest" he has seen.

David Duval - not a man renowned for his all-singing all-dancing demeanour - then proved there were no hard feelings, as he joined the European celebrations for a long night.

Whether that party spirit will last another two years is, of course, another matter...

Final score:
Goodwill spirit 4-2 Bad vibes

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