Ryder Cup 2012: US Choke Job Caps Off Season to Forget for Stars

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IOctober 1, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 29:  USA team captain Davis Love III (L) greets Tiger Woods on the 18th green during day two of the Afternoon Four-Ball Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 29, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The U.S. should be embarrassed.

In the 2012 Ryder Cup, the Americans held what should’ve been an insurmountable lead over Europe going into Sunday’s action. Instead, they pulled off one of golf’s greatest choke jobs in recent memory. But for how this season has played out for the nation’s most notable names—Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson—the finish was quite fitting.

The U.S. held a 10-6 lead as the final day began. Only one other time in Ryder Cup history has such a deficit been overcome. Its lead seemed so secure that Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN even satirically listed ways that Europe could come back in column before he wrote:

"Never mind. It's over. Olazabal can click off the walkie-talkie and take the IFB out of his ear. Time for the Europeans to fire up the private jets and head back home to Florida."

So much for that.

The Europeans stormed back to shock the U.S. by the score of 14.5 to 13.5.

But onto the players that were a part of the collapse.

Mickelson helped the Americans build their lead and was undefeated going into Sunday, but he helped Europe erase that lead losing to Justin Rose.

On the season as a whole, Mickelson failed to win a major. And he hasn’t won one since 2010. He also only won one PGA Tournament on the year.

The U.S.’s brightest star, Woods, didn’t shine nearly as bright as Mickelson this weekend. Prior to Sunday, he went winless and by the time his name was called in the final round, the lead he didn’t help build had already vanished.

While Woods won three PGA Tournaments on the season, he, like Mickelson, failed to win a major, which extended his major drought that began all the way back in 2008.

So while the U.S.’s colossal choke job was shocking, the continued failure of the country's stars wasn’t.


David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.