Ryder Cup 2008: My old Kentucky home!

This past weekend, the Ryder Cup was not just about golf, it was about a group of Americans coming together as one, riding the emotion generated by the flag-waving crowd at the Valhalla Country Club to defeat the Europeans.

The so-called experts gave this Tiger-less United States squad a puncher’s chance of winning the Ryder Cup. The Europeans were expected to continue its dominance over the U.S. that had extended to three straight defeats, five out of six, and eight out of 11 matches prior to this weekend. But the Americans didn’t need a miracle putt or an amazing comeback like their last victory to capture this crown.

Every questionable roster decision made by U.S. Captain Paul Azinger turned into gold this weekend. Two of Kentucky’s native sons light shined the brightest on Sunday. Kenny Perry, whose lifelong dream was to compete in a Ryder Cup event, delivered a 3-and-2 victory in the first single competition on Sunday to swing the momentum back towards the U.S. direction. And it was Campbellsville, Ky. resident J.B. Holmes’ final two birdies in his single match that set up the Americans for victory.

Other memorable scenes from the weekend include Anthony Kim’s youthful exuberance, which was on display all three days in Louisville. His attitude became infectious throughout the team, and brought out some emotional reaction even from cool, calculating Phil Mickelson on the golf course. And the fans cheering as loud as possible, “BOOOO,” as Bo Weekley did his best Happy Gilmore impersonation after a tee shot, galloping like a horse on his driver down the fairway.

The book is closed on European dominance in Ryder Cup play. This event seems to be energized once again and could retake its place as one of the top events in golf.

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