So close and yet so far. All the United States needed from their final player Hunter Mahan was half a point, a tie, to win the Ryder Cup. Asked why he put Hunter Mahan in that most important spot Captain Corey Pavin said: "I went to Hunter Mahan's website and the headline read, 'Mahan Knows How to Handle Ryder Cup Pressure'. When a player is that cocky that he puts that on his website you think he's the guy if it comes right down to the wire."
In the article "'Mahan Knows How to Handle Ryder Cup Pressure', there is an excerpt from Hunter Mahan's recent news conference: Q. How is your experience at the last Ryder Cup going to help you? A. Hunter Mahan: "You know what to expect from inside the ropes. The feelings (nerves) you have, I'll know how to handle those better."
What was Hunter Mahan supposed to say? Was Hunter Mahan supposed to say, "If it gets down to the 17th hole and I need to get up and down from just off the green to keep our team alive, I'll probably crack under the pressure and yip chip or maybe even double or triple hit the chip shot to blow the Ryder Cup. You can't imagine the pressure. The weight of the entire free world will be on my shoulders, especially from Cindy Kavanaugh my tenth grade sweetheart at McKinney High School watching back in Texas."
The United States was on the verge of a miracle Ryder Cup comeback. All Hunter Mahan needed to do was to get the easy chip up and in on 17. Graeme McDowell had left his first putt 10 feet short and he needed to make a ten footer for par. Hunter Mahan stood over his chip shot thinking, "If I can get up and in and he misses his 10 footer and three putts away the hole, then the momentum will totally be on my side. Graeme McDowell will be so upset he could make anything on the par 5 eighteenth and I can taste the champagne already. I'll put all the headlines, 'Hero Hunter Mahan Caps Amazing US Ryder Cup Victory' on my Homepage. I almost took out my cellphone right there and then to call my webmaster to get the headlines up on the site. I've never won too much but here I was on the verge of becoming a national hero, 'Hunter Mahan World Beater.'
"I stood over the chip and I said to myself, 'Hunter, Hunter, you've had this shot a zillion times before and you know you can do it. Remember what you said at the news conference, 'I know what to expect from inside the ropes. The feelings (nerves) I will have, I'll know how to handle those better.' The next thing I knew, I took the wedge back, and then I kind of like blacked out. My knees shook and it was all I could do to keep from vomiting. I looked up and the ball had only moved two feet. I'm sorry Cindy Kavanaugh, I'm sorry Elin, I'm sorry guys, I don't know what happened to me." Relax Hunter, it happens to all of us and we're all extremely proud of you, choker.