Mayer's Memos From The Ryder Cup - Final Day
Oct. 4, 2010
NEWPORT, Wales - Indiana University head men's golf coach Mike Mayer made the trip to Wales for the 2010 Ryder Cup, serving as Jeff Overton's instructor for the competition. Coach Mayer provided IUHoosiers.com with a daily blog during his entire trip.
Overton played at IU from 2002-05 and is making his Ryder Cup debut, playing for Team USA. Here is the seventh and final installment of "Mayer's Memos From the Ryder Cup"...
PHOTOS FROM FINAL DAY (All photos courtesy of Brian Muehlhaus)
The sun finally came out at the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales today; and for awhile it looked like it was going to be a sunny ending for Team USA. But, in the end, a three-point deficit was just too much to overcome on this final day of competition and the cup will not be coming home with us on the team plane tomorrow morning.
I was with Jeff at the driving range this morning and he was in perfect form. Just stood back and watched, and knew that he was ready once again. His caddy, Eric Larsen, was a little giddy watching Jeff rip drive after drive right on target. Told Jeff, before he left the practice area, that the entire IU community back home was rooting for him and he was very grateful for all the support.
If you ever get a chance to be at the first tee of a Ryder Cup match held in Europe you will be treated to a spectacle. The crazy, wild and rowdy fans here have a blast in the grandstands surrounding the tee. The players, both from Europe and the USA, play right along in the festivities. When Jeff walked across the bridge to the first tee, the Euro's actually stood up and gave him a great standing ovation. Obviously they have been very impressed with his game. In the crowd, sitting together, were about 15 of the Hoosier Nation with their now famous IU/Overton hats on. The Hoosiers, althougth vastly out-numbered, held their own against the Euro's to the delight of Jeff as he was waiting to be called to the tee. The Euro's have named the Hoosier faithful here "Ovie's boys" and it was not uncommon to see a number of our IU crowd being interview both on radio and television.
England's Ross Fisher got off to a great start against, Jeff birdieing two of the first three holes for an early two-up advantage. Jeff missed a short three-foot par putt on the the 5th hole that would have cut the margin to one in what seemed to be a crucial moment in the match. If you remember, Jeff eagled the par-four eighth hole in his match yesterday and, believe it or not, he nearly duplicated that feat on the same hole again today. His nine-iron from 152-yards looked to be going in, but just slid past the hole ending up a mere eight inches away for a gimme birdie. After losing the ninth, Jeff came back with a clutch birdie on the 10th and then played solid golf the rest of the way in for his 3-2 victory.
I can't express how proud I am of Jeff. I have to say the the "leak" opened briefly when I gave Jeff a hug after his match. He not only made me proud, he made all of the Hoosier Nation, here and all around the globe, proud as well.
It was very nice of USA Ryder Cup Assistant Captain Paul Goydos to give me a hug after Jeff's match as well and tell me "great job this week coach, your boy played great."
There are a lot of thank you's that I need to make -- I'll try to keep this short.
First of all thank you to my family -- Kim, Zach and Ty -- for letting me come over to Wales for this truly once in-a-lifetime experience. I love you all and can't wait to see you!
Special thanks also goes out to our Indiana University Men's Golf Team for allowing me to be absent from practice all this time. I was with our team at Chicago at the Windon Memorial Collegiate tournament and flew directly from the tournament site to get to Atlanta. Our Hoosiers played a great final round and came back to finsih tied for 5th in the very strong 17-team field. Very proud of you guys and I have some great stories to tell you.
Thanks as well to "Ovie's Boys." You guys were awesome over here and I know that Jeff appreciated you so very much. Special thanks goes out to Adam Estes for all his efforts to get all the Hoosier fans over here that he could possibly get. Also thanks goes out to Kevin Van Rooy from the IU Varsity Club for coming over and dirstributing the now world famous IU/Overton hats.
I have to give a shot out to all the Euro fans. They were the loudest, rowdiest, and at times drunkest sports crowd I've ever witnessed. But at the same time they were without a doubt the most knowledgeable golf fans I've ever encountered. They cheered for everyone (obviously for the Euro team the loudest) and as rowdy as they were you could hear a pin drop when a USA or Euro player prepared to hit a shot -- simply brilliant.
To Jeff's girfriend Christina Zimmer, who is truly both "beautiful and elegant," for everything you did for me this week. Walking down the fairway with you was a true joy. Honey, I think I'm the one with the crush now! By the way Christina, a mezzo-soprano opera singer, has a recital at IU's Jacobs School of Music on Saturday, October 16th at 2 p.m. which will complete her master's degree.
To Jeff's parents Ron and Sharon for all your support and for allowing me to be a part of your "team." Also to manager/agent extraodinare Brian Newton of Gaylord Sports for your friendship, the new rain suit, and for everything you do for Jeff.
For all of you who have endured this blog for seven long days now. Thanks for all the emails from all over the country. I really appreciate your kind words and your support and I'm very humbled.
Finally to Jeff -- I'm so extremely proud of you and was so honored to be here with you at the Ryder Cup. Your genuine, honest, and courageous. You're everything a Hoosier should be!
From Wales, signing off for one last time -- honey I'm coming home!
Check back soon