What makes the Ryder Cup so special is the way the team is more important than the individual. And the way José María Olazábal convinced the Europeans to invoke the spirit of Seve Ballesteros inspired one of the greatest sporting comebacks.
Mix emotion, passion, determination, a cause to fight for and a belief that nothing is impossible – and you have the sporting recipe for something extraordinary.
The Medinah Miracle – as the fightback from 10-4 down late on Saturday to claim a 14½-13½ victory has been dubbed – was a sporting fantasy that almost defied belief.
For me it was the awesome contribution of Ian Poulter, partnering Rory McIlroy in that final session on Saturday, that made the difference when the runaway Americans looked unbeatable. When he holed a 12-foot putt on the 18th green to defeat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson with his fifth consecutive birdie, Poulter was the beast who would not be beaten.
Without doubt it was Olazabal who lifted his team when he convinced them to keep fighting in memory of the great Ballesteros. But it was the guts and determination of Poulter that ignited the belief.
“This event brings out the best in Ian,” Olazábal agreed, as he clutched the trophy and reflected on four magnificent wins out of four for Poults. “It reminds me a bit of Seve: that intensity, that will to win the point.”
For Poulter, to be compared to Ballesteros by Olazabal, the Spaniard who was closer to him than anyone, there can be no greater accolade.