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  Monday, 30 September, 2002, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
US scribes spare Strange
Curtis Strange and Mark Calcavecchia digest the USA's defeat
Strange (right) saw his team blown away in the singles
America's sports writers refused to make captain Curtis Strange the scapegoat as they reflected on their country's Ryder Cup defeat at The Belfry.

Strange's decision to play his strongest players in the later singles matches on Sunday had been a major talking point after his side's 15-12 loss.

But the US newspapers chose instead to focus on the tactical masterstroke of Strange's opposite number Sam Torrance - and the grit of the European players.


The Ryder Cup on TV is as shocking, kaleidoscopic and dramatic as any event in sports
Washington Post

"The United States Ryder Cup team was rocked by one emotional wave after another, trapped in a storm from which it never escaped," reported the Washington Post.

"Sam Torrance, the European captain, spun a clever web, and the American team could not escape.

"Putting his top eight players in the first eight of the 12 singles matches, Torrance stacked the deck early and dealt his team a winning hand."

The Post headlined its coverage Europe's Glorious Day, using a picture of Paul McGinley's joyful celebrations after holing his winning putt at the 18th.

There was also a telling reference to the heroics of Colin Montgomerie, who had been badly heckled by American fans at Brookline three years ago.

The McGinley victory dance was described as "like a penguin in a great hurry to cross an ice floe", but the Irishman's golf earned high praise.


Strange's US ship of golfers had cruised without all hands on deck for the crucial day
Boston Globe

The newspaper also reflected on the popularity of the event, on a day which had also seen NFL and Major League games and the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

Comparing the Cup to the highlights of the gridiron and baseball seasons, the Super Bowl and World Series, Thomas Boswell decided it was a dead heat.

"For 40 years, the health of any sport has been tied to its appeal on television," he wrote.

"The prime cause for golf's explosion in popularity is the arrival of Tiger Woods, probably the world's best athlete.

"But another huge reason was on display yesterday.

"The Ryder Cup on TV - with as many as 12 matches in progress simultaneously - is as shocking, kaleidoscopic and dramatic as any event in sports."

McGinley's image also made the front pages of the New York Times and the Boston Globe.

"Oh, how they played. Oh, how they responded to the huge galleries that chanted and sang and screamed out support at every tee box, along every fairway and at every green.

"Oh, how they humbled an American team that was able to win just two of the 12 matches," wrote Jim McCabe in the Globe.

"He had his anchors in place, only captain Curtis Strange didn't get to use them.

"His US ship of golfers had cruised yesterday without all hands on deck for the crucial day."

USA Today reflected: "The most important club used to win the Ryder Cup on Sunday wasn't a putter or a driver. It was the pencil of European captain Sam Torrance."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
USA Ryder Cup captain Curtis Strange
"We played well, they played better"
USA's Scott Hoch
"We couldn't keep up with them"
USA's Davis Love III
"It will be a long ride home"
News, reports and features on golf's big team event

Europe 15-12 USA

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