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Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Martin Kaymer all leave lasting impressions on an epic Ryder Cup win for the Europeans and loss for the Americans.
The Ryder Cup has come and gone, but the storylines remain for the golfers involved and some of them left the Cup with career-altering labels and additions to their career arcs, whether they were on the winning or losing side of the one-point differential.
Yes, the Europeans won in dramatic fashion, but each individual golfer came away with their own piece of the pie, including three golfers with Arizona ties: Phil Mickelson (Arizona State University), Jim Furyk (University of Arizona) and Martin Kaymer (Scottsdale).
Let's start with Kaymer. Yahoo Sports! said that Kaymer might have been "the most ridiculed of the European team," but he "ended up being the guy who clinched it all." Kaymer's name hasn't really been on the marquee since his 2010 PGA Championship win, so being the one to finish off the Americans in such dramatic fashion had to feel like some sort of redemption.
Mickelson did all he could as he and Keegan Bradley turned into one of the best American duos in Ryder Cup history. They went 3-0, including a win over Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. But the duo was sat by U.S. captain Davis Love III for the final pairs session Saturday afternoon, a decision that could haunt the Americans.
Furyk was at the forefront, along with Steve Stricker, of the U.S. collapse. Neither player could deliver the pars on the final two holes they needed to pull off the win. Then they had to watch as Kaymer made a six-foot par putt to win it all. Furyk has always dealt with doubts that he could come through in the clutch and here he was, yet again, unable to do so. This one will hurt for awhile.
In the end, the Ryder Cup stayed with the Europeans after they came back from a 10-6 deficit heading into the final day before pulling off a 14 ½-13 ½ win.