Davis Love's Ryder Cup Diary: "If you need to blame somebody for this loss, blame me."

I see a published "diary" and I brace myself for spin or few details, but not in the case of Davis Love's detail rich Ryder Cup recollections (presumably ghosted by SI's Michael Bamberger).

There are several fun insights like this:

I said to Scott Verplank, one of my assistants, "Which match do I watch?" You want to do everything, and you really can't do much of anything. You're a baseball manager, and every one of your pitchers is on the mound in the ninth inning of a Game 7. Jim Furyk walked by me after losing the 17th hole. The Ryder Cup on the line. I wanted to say something, but what could I say? He walked by me with that fierce game face of his on, and frustratingly I found myself saying nothing. I turned to Jeff Sluman, another of my assistants, and said, "Well, that was brilliant." But the fact is, in golf it's better to err on the side of saying too little than too much. And I'm sure there were times I said too much.

This is going to give his critics of Saturday afternoon's Keegan/Phil benching some ammunition. Personally, I just love the honesty:

After three sessions we had a considerable four-point lead, with the team of Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson winning three times. Fred Couples, another of my four assistants, said to me, "Man, that Keegan Bradley is on fire. Ride him all the way to the house."

In other words, he wanted me to play the Bradley-Mickelson team again on Saturday afternoon in Session IV. I know a lot of fans and commentators were thinking the same thing. But Phil told me he was tired after three matches and wanted to rest for the Sunday singles. There was no reason to play Keegan with a partner with whom he had not practiced. There was no reason to mess with order. Things were going according to plan. In Session IV, Europe, and most especially Ian Poulter, caught fire late and won two matches. Still, everything was good. A four-point U.S. lead. Enter Seve.

Fourth Ryder Cup Question: Can We All Agree That Harvested Rough Is A Silly And Cynical Stain On A Golf Course?

I know that the horror of great players displaying their skill was problematic for a few cynics who want to see these young, rich, athletic men suffer the indignity of a buried ball in bluegrass for daring to not hit every ball to perfection. However, with essentially no rough at Medinah, we may have just witnessed the most exciting and rewarding three days of shotmaking in modern times.
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Third Ryder Cup Question: Did The Course Setup "Backfire"?

I've seen and heard in several places how the course setup (fast greens and no rough) backfired on Captain Davis Love. Before the matches, there had been suggestions the USA had a few tricks up their sleeves while Lee Westwood said he saw the approach favoring neither team.

Now, the match was decided by a point. The U.S. played particularly well in the foursomes and four-balls where they historically haven't been as strong.

The only impact I saw was in the way the setup tactics possibly inspired the Europeans to overcome a perceived obstacle. There may have been many other instances we'll learn about in time from players about little things that were done to aid the Americans.  Otherwise, Curtis Tyrrell and team's beautifully conditioned Medinah seemed to reward shots from both sides and allowed skill to dictate the outcome instead of rough or the actions of PGA setup man Kerry Haigh.

Thoughts?

If You Watch The Ryder Cup Singles Re-Airing...

...from 4-9 ET Tuesday on Golf Channel, watch the moments immediately after Martin Kaymer sinks the winning putt and pay special attention.

We'll talk about it on Wednesday, class. There might even be a pop quiz.

Meanwhile, historian Cliff Schrock of Golf Digest posed this in a GolfDigest.com column Monday:

But an opportunity was missed for the European team to have a double victory at Medinah. If the final match was allowed to end with a halve on 18 for a Woods victory and 14-14 tie, it would have demonstrated that Ryder's code of fairness has stayed foremost among the minds of players and captains. The Europeans would have demonstrated a respect for the effort and huge advantage the Americans had made to go into Sunday with a 10-6 lead. A tie would have given the home crowd and madly supportive Chicago-area crowd a kiss on the cheek for how much they made the event a success with their financial backing. It would have been a "thank you" to the state trooper who made sure time-zone confused Rory McIlroy didn't miss his tee time.

And the tie would have followed some notable gestures of its kind, such as Jack Nicklaus' famous concession in 1969 with Tony Jacklin, which ensured an overall tie, and, quite interestingly, something that occurred in 1999, the year a team -- the Americans -- first came back from a 10-6 deficit to win.

Euros Party Into The Night; Traditional Post-Ryder Cup Wig Wearing Ritual Ensues

Hey, maybe this is why you-know-who is so eager to be Captain again?

Anyway, Brian Keogh has all of the details of Team Europe's post Ryder Cup party.

Captain I-Want-To-Win-Not-Halve had some Spanish wine, while the team received a visit from Captain Love along with a few unnamed American players.

Former DJ Colsaerts added: “I haven’t slept. But I’ll be alright. This used to be my first job so it’s okay.”

Asked where the party ranked, he said: “It was just the length of it, the intensity of it after all that work.

“We were just stretching it out and stretching it out. I don’t know how bumpy this plane ride is going to be but I might give it 10 out of 10.

“It was just a good old fashioned party with drinks flying in the air and other stupid stuff going on.

“There were a few Diana Ross wigs and things like that. Frankie Molinari was wearing a blonde one which made him look like Marilyn Monroe!"

Ian Poulter Tweeted a couple of photos from the party, including one with the cup and a classic of his daughter wondering "where she gets it."

 

"The best-televised sporting event of the year – if not the young century – was almost spoiled by the stop-start nature of the action."

Brad Klein wasn't too keen on NBC and the PGA of America's commercial-heavy Ryder Cup broadcast, though he noted the nice "last three-quarters of an hour went without an ad or a break," but by then the damage had been done for most viewers.

And Klein documents the damage, totaling up how many times certain ads ran. The top eight:

NBC Network Programming: 31
Omega Watches: 16
Get Golf Ready/Tee It Forward/Play Golf America: 13
Cadillac: 10
Mercedes: 10
National Car Rental: 10
Samsung Galaxy: 9
Royal Bank of Canada: 8

Europe May Be Ready To Move On After Geno Apologizes For Highly Inoffensive Column Declaring Matches Over

I'm not sure why there was so much outrage over Gene Wojciechowski's column suggesting the Euros had no chance Sunday since it would take a comeback of Brookline proportions to win. A view many of us shared.

But the BBC 5 Live's Colin Murray hunted down the not-evil ESPN.com scribe to wring out an on air concession for the United Kingdom listening audience, allowing Geno to take higher ground over Captain Don't Halve in the class department. And Geno, wisely hoping to show his face in Europe sometime soon, said he was sorry.

The audio is here.

Ryder Cup Roundup: Team Europe Coverage

Just the beginning of what figures to be extensive coverage of a comeback for the ages. Still, we already gleaned some interesting stuff about Sunday's Team Europe play at Medinah.

Dave Kindred on the emotional win being all about Seve.

This was the kind of day Seve Ballesteros lived for. It was a day when something gets done that no one thought could be done. To win the Ryder Cup, the Europeans needed an historic, unprecedented comeback.

Peter Alliss says it's the best win he's ever seen.

It was a magnificent performance from the whole European team and I have never seen a more exciting end to a Ryder Cup - and I've seen plenty.

It was absolutely brilliant to do that over here in front of a crowd that was very much rooting for the home side.

Larry Fine on Martin Kaymer sinking the winning putt for Europe, with a motivational assist from former captain Langer.

He raised his arms high, pumped his fists and then ran into the fairway and jumped into the arms of Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

"It's a feeling I never had before," said Kaymer, a former world number one and major winner, who later gave special thanks to compatriot Bernhard Langer.

Kaymer had been out of form before his final day win over Stricker and had sought some advice from Langer, who missed a deciding six-foot putt at the Ryder Cup 21 years ago at Kiawah Island.

"On Friday I sat down with Bernhard and talked to him a little bit about the Ryder Cup because my attitude wasn't the right one," Kaymer said.

Paul Mahoney on Luke Donald setting the tone with a 2&1 win over Bubba Watson.

But Luke Donald simply froze him out to win 2&1. European blue on the leaderboard. First point claimed. Momentum.

Donald could do no more to affect the result but he had done his job. Mind you, the Ice Man almost melted. He was coasting at four up through 13 holes until Watson rattled off three birdies in a row before running out of holes.

"I don't know what I would have done going down 18," Donald said. "The nerves were starting to build and Bubba was putting some serious pressure on me. What a relief. I had a lot of responsibility going out number one. Ollie [Europe captain Jose María Olazabal] had enough trust in me to go out first and get that first point. It's a great honour."

Kevin Garside on Ian Poulter.

In Olympic and Paralympic year the Sports Personality gong is probably beyond him. Therefore I propose a category all on its own to be awarded to the sportsman or woman who demonstrates a degree of passion, skill and commitment that against all odds threatens to alter the course of events, change a game, stand an hour on its head. The winner in this, the inaugural year, is Ian Poulter for his astonishing display at the Ryder Cup in Medinah on Saturday. I further propose that henceforth the trophy carry his name. Thus have we created the Ian Poulter Passion Award.

Paul Hayward, also on Poulter.

Poulter, or 'Poults’, who started as an assistant pro and golf shop manager at Chesfield Downs Golf Club, has moved to the highest echelon of Ryder Cup gladiators.

This event stirs his natural tenacity, gives him something to fight against. It is the perfect outlet for his pride.

Richard Williams on the Ryder Cup in the context of the Ryder Cup and Europe's busy year in sport.

In the annals of a competition whose history stretches back to 1927, the 39th edition will occupy a special place for its drama and its wonderful setting. Nothing could have more fittingly honoured the memory of Seve Ballesteros, who died in May of last year, than the fighting spirit shown by players whose white shirtsleeves on Sunday were adorned by the image of his distinctive silhouette.

Derek Lawrenson says Captain Olazabal got it right in the end, comparing the captains on a variety of topics.

Lawrenson also has a timeline on how the event unfolded for Europe.

The Guardian's player report card.

GolfChannel.com's Team Europe report card.

The Guardian's live blog from the day.

Video of the European press conference. Some thought it was cute, I found it awkward and mildly childish. Jonathan Wall called it "the biggest press conference trainwreck in golf history" and says "you only need to watch this clip of Garcia passing drinks and spewing beer all over the floor to understand how big the Ryder Cup is to these guys."

BBC with player reactions on video immediately after the round, including Olazabal having to walk away after getting emotional when Seve came up.

Here is the YouTube version:

The closing ceremony speech by Olazabal.

Golf Channel's final day highlight package.

Sportscenter's highlights.