September 24, 2008- The 2008 Ryder Cup was held at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky last September 19-21, 2008. The Americans were led by team captain Paul Azinger while Team Europe was under the leadership of its team captain Nick Faldo of England.>
After six long years of waiting, Team USA came out victorious, ending the 3 consecutive wins of Team Europe since 2002. Even in the absence of leading pointer Tiger Woods due to a knee surgery, Team USA managed to win the 37th Ryder Cup 16½ - 11½ against Team Europe. This is the first Ryder Cup that Team USA led after every game since 1979 and the largest margin of victory it has over Team Europe since 1981.
Among the members of Team USA who made the Ryder Cup victory possible were non-playing captain Paul Azinger, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard and Chad Campell. Among the Ryder Cup rookies were Ben Curtis, Boo Weekley, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and J.B. Holmes.
The reckoning point of the Cup was given by Jim Furyk who defeated Miguel Angel Jimenez of Team Europe giving Team USA the 14 ½ points lead against Team Europe.
Victory of Team USA must rightfully be credited to its team captain Paul Azinger who changed the qualifying system, which he thought kept the best American golfers from participating in the Cup. He even doubled his captain’s picks and those four whom he picked shares one-third of the entire Team USA points.
The victory of USA was a team effort as everyone learned to play together for the win. Even Tiger Woods who is still recovering from a knee surgery kept in touch with team captain Paul Azinger during the whole time.
After the win, the Americans rode the spirit of the crowd who watched their golf heroes reclaim the Ryder Cup. Team captain Paul Azinger even dashed to the clubhouse balcony and grabbed a bottle of champagne to meet the celebrative mood of all Americans.
Though Team Europe’s defeat left a dismay especially to its team captain Nick Faldo, who is said to have made wrong decisions, the Ryder Cup nevertheless ended with a handshake.
Both teams are set to meet again in 2010 for the 38th Ryder Cup.