Spain's Azahara Muñoz, a member of the successful European Solheim Cup team, gives her verdict on Europe's tremendous victory at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
1. In your opinion, what were the keys to Europe’s Ryder Cup victory?
I think the key was that they never gave up. Saturday afternoon was looking really ugly and they turned the last two matches around, which was huge, even though they had a slim chance to win. They were tweeting that night that they still had a chance and every time they got interviewed they believed in themselves and I think that’s why it turned it around.
2. Who do you think has been the most important European player during the event?
I think Ian Poulter. Even though he didn’t play amazing every day, the way he finished with five birdies on Saturday and then on Sunday, the birdie he made on 18, that was unreal. I was jumping up and down. The way he performed under pressure on the last few holes every day was amazing.
3. Who do you think has been the most important USA players during the event and best performance?
I was really impressed with Jason Dufner. He never changes his face and it doesn’t matter if he is playing number one or number 18. His attitude is kind of boring at the same time, because you never see any emotion, but at the same time it’s really good for golf.
4. Did you like Europe’s strategy and pairings? What about the USA’s strategy?
I did. On Friday they had the obvious pairings and on Saturday Ollie changed it around and I think he had to because they weren’t playing that great. It wasn’t working so you have to shake things around a little bit. Obviously the US pairings were amazing and they played really well in the foursomes and fourballs.
5. If you were Ollie, is there anything you would have done differently?
No! He did good.
6. If you were Davis Love III, is there anything you would have done differently?
He did really well but the captain is not the one hitting the ball. Europe played so well in the singles that they really had no chance.
7. Your speech to players before the final day....after the adverse result: if you were Ollie...what would you tell your players to help them face final day?
I think I would tell them what Ollie did. In 1999, the Americans did the same thing to us so it’s been done before and it could be done again. If you look at the singles, every player could have beaten the American players so they could have won the 12 singles and I mean, you’ll be surprised, because it’s hard to win every match, but at the same time, everybody could beat everybody, so just never give up.
8. Did you think that after Day 2 and result 6-10, the victory was still possible?
To be honest, not really, because they were playing really well and the difference was huge, but then, you know, they did it!
9. What were your favourite moments?
Everything on Sunday. At the beginning they were up and then they were kind of down. Then there was, when they tied 10-10, I thought maybe now they really have a chance. Then they were projected 14-14, and then it went to 16-14, so it was like, so exciting all day.
10. Is there anything that we should learn from this edition that we could apply to next Solheim Cup?
I felt kind of the same although we turned it around in the last hour and they turned it around during the whole day. Obviously there is a lot to learn, because they came back from losing a lot, but we did that last year too at Solheim.
11. Do you think that Europe has a chance to win The 2013 Solheim Cup for the first time in America?
One thing I’ve learned is that hopefully we’ll be ready for the crowds, because they are pretty bad, but I think we do, yeah. Why not?