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Miracle At Medinah By Oliver Holt

Release date: 11th July, 2013
Publisher: Headline

List Price: £8.99
Our Price: £6.29
You Save: £2.7 (30%)
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This time last year, London’s Olympic Games were drawing to their tumultuous, life-affirming close, Andy Murray had yet to win the US Open, golf’s majors were done for another twelve months and while a new football season was about to dawn, it was greeted by general apathy and indifference. Nevertheless, it was a time to sit back, bask in the warm glow of our Olympic success, await the onset of autumn and embrace our love of winter sport.

Oh, yes: and the Ryder Cup was scheduled to be played at Medinah where Europe were expected to get hammered.

The basic details of last year’s Ryder Cup are well known. The European team, led by Jose Maria Olazabal, was staring down the barrel, facing a humiliating defeat at the hands of America’s superstars who started the competition in outstanding form. The visitors were shell-shocked and when Rory McIlroy’s alarm clock failed to go off and the northern Irishman required a police escort to the golf course, there was a sense that the Europeans looked and played like novices.

As Olazabal, a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, looked increasingly pensive and the decision to weave Seve’s profile into the team’s shirts began to look contrived, the prevailing mood amongst European golf fans was governed by a belief that the team should limit the damage and plan for the next competition in 2014.

That was before Ian Poulter played with the sort of dogged determination capable of inspiring teammates. By the time Justin Rose overhauled Phil Mickelson in a phenomenal match, the mood had changed: Europe couldn’t do it, could they?

Oliver Holt has written a marvellous account of last year’s Ryder Cup. This is not simply a reminder of how that fantastic final day evolved, assembled in chronological order. Holt, a sports journalist who has covered multiple Ryder Cups, offers us a well-researched insight into how other, related, events unfolded, including a fascinating examination of Olazabal’s role as captain.

It helps, of course, that the story has a happy ending, but with the Ashes now won, Froome crowned Tour de France champion, Murray winning at Wimbledon and Jason Dufner claiming golf’s final major of 2013, those who enjoy reliving great sporting comebacks (and Medinah falls into that category) will relish this outstanding book.



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