NEWPORT, Wales – It’s either feast or famine for Rory McIlroy on the Twenty Ten Course’s 17th green.
Sunday afternoon was definitely an example of a the former. McIlroy holed a 15-foot birdie putt there to clinch victory in his foursomes match with Graeme McDowell. They beat Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan, 2 and 1, to knot the Ryder Cup at 6 points apiece.
“It was great to get our point on the board,” McDowell said.
Added McIlroy, “It’s absolutely huge.”
One day earlier, McIlroy made a thrilling putt on 17 – a 30-footer for birdie that was likely the highlight of his first Ryder Cup – and missed a necessary 5-footer later that day on the very same hole.
The 30-footer won the 17th for the McTeam and squared the match, which ended in a hard-fought halve.
Remember Cink’s 30-footer for birdie later that day? On the 17th? It would’ve only halved the hole if McIlroy could’ve made a 5-foot birdie putt of his own. Instead, he missed the putt and wasted McDowell’s impressive hybrid tee shot on the long par 3.
Cink and Kuchar went on to win that match, 1 up.
“Complete opposite end of the spectrum, coming off the 17th yesterday,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy’s clincher wasn’t the only big putt the team holed down the stretch on Sunday. McDowell holed a 15-foot birdie putt to halve the short par-4 15th.
The McTeam, which paired in all three team sessions, went 1-1-1.
“I’m going to miss (Graeme) tomorrow (in singles),” McIlroy said.