MEDINAH, Ill. -- Since the beginning of the Ryder Cup matches on Friday morning, I have been handing out grades to each player. After watching Martin Kaymer look near listless in the Friday four-balls, I was sure that he would be getting a low grade come Sunday night.
And after seeing European captain Jose Maria Olazabal bench him for both matches on Saturday, I thought he might not be able to pull the club back on Sunday in front of the partisan American crowds. But the 2010 PGA Championship winner played his heart out in the singles, pulling out a 1 up win over Steve Stricker. With that clutch 6-footer at the 18th, he went from a certain D-minus to a B.
I didn't hand out an F to any player. If I were that hard a grader, Tiger Woods would certainly earn that mark. But the 74-time PGA Tour winner deserves some mercy for playing under such intense pressure.
On the other end of the spectrum, no mercy is due Ian Poulter, who earned his A-plus by going 4-0 in his matches. The 36-year-old Englishman was masterful, setting the curve for all future Ryder Cup players.