Davis Love defends Ryder Cup decisions

Davis Love says he has no regrets over his Ryder Cup gameplan despite his United States team collapsing to defeat against Europe on Sunday.

Love's US team lost 14½-13½ having led 10-4 on Saturday.

"We were playing so well, everyone on our team was playing so well, I wouldn't have done anything different," said Love.

US media reaction

  • New York Times: "The Ryder Cup remains one of the most unpredictable and irresistible of sporting events. By the time the final putts had been made, missed or conceded in the fading light at Medinah Country Club, the Europeans were the ones exchanging bear hugs and swigs of champagne as they wore their national flags as capes and celebrated their improbable 14 ½-13 ½ victory."
  • USA Today: "Jose Maria Olazabal's message to his despondent Ryder Cup squad on Saturday night was simple: Believe."
  • Chicago Tribune: " If themost epic Ryder Cup collapse ever ended at 5:09 p.m. Sunday at Medinah when Team Europe golfer Martin Kaymer sank a 6-foot putt on the 18th hole, it started in earnest about two hours earlier."

"All went to plan. We were four ahead. The plan worked the first two days, it just didn't work today."

The US captain compared the emotions felt by his defeated United States Ryder Cup team to those felt by Europe after their collapse in 1999.

Thirteen years ago at Brookline, Mark James's Europe led 10-6 going into the singles matches before eventually losing by the same scoreline.

Love, who was on that US team added: "We know what it feels like now from the '99 Ryder Cup - it's a little bit shocking."

But he rejected criticism of his order in the final-day singles matches.

"We just didn't figure it mattered how we sent them out there," said Love.

"We put our hot players up front, and our steady players in the back. We all thought it would come down to Jason Dufner.

"We figured that the first five, with Mickelson in the middle, were going to get us at least two or three, even if we didn't play well, because of the way Keegan [Bradley] and Brandt [Snedeker] were playing. These guys were all major champions. They just got beat by guys that were playing well."

Two Europe victories in the Saturday afternoon fourballs closed the gap to 10-6 going into Sunday's singles, but USA remained short odds-on favourites to regain the trophy that they have only won once since 1999.

Love, like counterpart Jose Maria Olazabal, put his in-form players at the top of the order, including four-time major champion Phil Mickelson .

The 42-year-old was 1up on Justin Rose going into the 17th, but eventually lost the match on the 18th.

"When it looked like I might be able to stop some of the momentum on the board, they [Europe] were able to get another point," said Mickelson. "That match, as early as it was, was a very pivotal one."

Another veteran, Jim Furyk , stood still, head bowed on the final green after his loss to Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

Ryder Cup final day highlights

Like Mickelson, he was 1up going to the 17th, and like his American team-mate he was part of that victorious team of 1999.

Asked how the team's defeat compared to Brookline, Furyk said: "Well, that was fun. This was pretty miserable.

"So I mean, it was very similar circumstances with the four points. You know, it was a hell of a lot of fun being on the other end. It wasn't very much fun today."

Steve Stricker , competing in his third Ryder Cup, played in the match that decided the destination of the trophy - losing 1up to German Martin Kaymer.

"When I went past the board at the 10th tee, I saw a lot of blue up on the board and started doing the maths," said the 45-year-old.

"I kind of figured that it was going to come down to Tiger [Woods] or I in the last two groups.

"I knew it was going to be important. We just... I didn't get it done. I had a couple opportunities. I just let a couple putts slip by, a couple shots here and there. Yeah, it's pretty disappointing, but still a great experience."

Woods was playing Francesco Molinari in the final match to tee-off. By the time the pair approached the final green, Europe had secured victory.

Fourteen-time major winner Woods conceded the 18th hole ending any chance of the United States at least claiming a 14-14 tie.

"It was already over," said the 36-year-old.

"We came here as a team - this is a team event. And the cup had already been retained by Europe, so it was already over.

"You come here as a team and you win or lose as a team, and it's pointless to even finish. So 18 was just, hey, get this over with"