Westwood on cloud nine
Article posted: 02 October 2012
I just can’t believe that happened - there have been a couple of pinch-yourself moments
Lee Westwood returned to the UK on Monday night and says there have been "a couple of pinch-yourself moments" in the days following Europe’s dramatic Ryder Cup victory.
Trailing 10-6 on Sunday morning, Westwood and his team-mates completed the greatest comeback in the competition’s history, earning eight-and-a-half points to seal a 14½ - 13½ victory over the United States at Medinah Country Club.
Westwood and European captain Jose Maria Olazabal sat opposite each other on their flight from Chicago to London Heathrow.
"Ollie was directly in front of me and I stared at him and I said, 'I just can’t believe that happened'," said Westwood. "There have been a couple of pinch-yourself moments."
The word number four said Europe’s blistering start to the Sunday singles proved decisive in turning the match around.
"Over the first couple of days we hadn’t got off to a quick enough start," said Westwood. "There was too much American red on the board for us early on and we couldn’t create momentum.
"The lads came out on Sunday and they did what we hadn’t been doing — we got off to a fast start and got some blue on the board."
Westwood, who was making his eighth appearance in the event, played his part in the stunning comeback, defeating Matt Kuchar 3&2 to earn a crucial point for his side.
"I know from experience from places like Brookline, where I was first out, that you start seeing the other team’s numbers on the board and it can get to you mentally," he said. "It can put you under a lot of pressure.
"At Medinah, as the round was going on, it became apparent that the crowd was going quiet and they were telling my opponent, 'Kuch, we need you, we need this point'.
"That actually gave me a boost. For me, it almost seemed like a sign of desperation."