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Ryder Cup Heroes and Villains

Europe may have been overwhelmingly odds-on to retain the Ryder Cup, however there were moments throughout the three days when USA pushed them close.

At one point, midway through the second day, the draw was priced at 8/1 with Coral, as Team USA trailed by a point, 6 1/2 to 5 1/2.

We take a look at some heroes and villains from the tournament, after three exciting days of play.

Heroes
Rory McIlroy
Following some under-par performances, the world number one produced some golf of the highest quality on the final installment of the competition, as he wreaked havoc on good friend and training partner Rickie Fowler. The Northern Irishman was imperious, and clearly singles is his game.

Justin Rose
Picked out by Coral prior to the start of the tournament as a player to watch, the 34-year-old Englishman was consistent throughout winning three, and tying two tricky matches, including his singles against Hunter Mahan. Partnered with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson for the fourballs and foursomes, this was one pairing team captain Paul McGinely got correct, with both recording three wins and a draw.

Jordan Spieth
Team USA’s 21-year-old rookie, Spieth was perhaps Tom Watson’s brightest light. He produced golf of the highest level, and could be the one to step into Tiger Woods’ shoes. He definitely has a major win in him over the next few years, and will only get better.

Villains
Patrick Reed
Every sport needs a pantomime villain. Spieth’s fourballs and foursomes partner Reed, was having a fantastic tournament until the last day when on the seventh green put his finger to his lips to shush the crowd after a birdie in his match against Stenson. He probably rivals Spieth as USA’s best player, and went one better by not losing. After claiming earlier in the year, that he was a ‘top five player’ he certainly walked the walk at Gleneagles.

Bubba Watson
Perhaps somewhat of an oxymoronic selection; all-round nice guy Watson didn’t win a single point at Gleneagles, losing all three games; however, his spirit didn’t fade. With nothing to lose, teeing off in his singles match against Martin Kaymer, Watson roused the crowd and had them cheering until after striking the ball.

Thomas Bjorn
For a season professional, and someone that has been around as long as Bjorn, he should have really at least recorded one win. The 43-year-old Dane picked up just half a point, partnered with Kaymer against Fowler and Jimmy Walker on the first day, however he wasn’t really on his game throughout.