First things first.  I LOVED the Ryder Cup.  It was fierce and furious and compelling stuff from start to finish.  I watched at Whittington Heath Golf Club; at The Horse And Jockey in Sandford Street in Lichfield; and at home listened to the incomparable team on BBC Radio 5 Live.  The foursomes wipe-out at the start was very depressing from a European point of view and probably consigned us to a bbu (brave but unavailing) but we scared the heck out of the Americans and stayed in the match well into Sunday.

Mo with Radio 5 Live's John Murray, Conor MacNamara and Alistair Bruce-Ball

Mo with Radio 5 Live’s John Murray, Conor MacNamara and Alistair Bruce-Ball

The final score, 17-11, didn’t reflect the tension and the nerve-wracking nature of the singles – or was that just me thinking that our rookies might pull off mission well-nigh impossible?   It was asking a lot of Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood and Matt Fitzpatrick to play just the once before setting out into the inferno on their own on Sunday and they played with plenty of heart but, as so often when you really, really need to hole absolutely everything, the putts slid by or came up short.  The USA, who seemed to hole everything, deserved to win.

The inspirational Phil Mickelson specialised in dodgy driving and phenomenal putting.

The inspirational Phil Mickelson specialised in dodgy driving and phenomenal putting.

They put a lot of work, heart-searching and task-forcing into overturning their run of three defeats in a row but, quite simply, they had become sick and tired of losing and eight years is a long, dispiriting time to be on the wrong side of the bragging rights.  I hadn’t appreciated that the genial Brandt Snedeker, the most affable of men, seemed to hold himself solely responsible for the defeat at Medinah and he putted like a man possessed, determined not to let Davis Love III down again.  Sullivan hung in there grimly but Snedeker, supported every shot of the way by Bubba Watson, the vice-captain that many felt should be playing, was implacable.

Wood took Dustin Johnson, the easy-ozy US Open champion, to the 18th and looked in good form, comfortable in the cauldron.  Fitzpatrick, who looked no more than 12 years old to all us ageing swingers, was thrown to the wolves in the bottom match, impressing Zach Johnson but losing 4 and 3 to the former Masters and Open champion.  I like a proper anchor person, just in case and who knows?  Perhaps Fitzpatrick will fit the bill in Paris in two years’ time.  The young Yorkshireman has just been through the sort of eye-opening, eye-popping experience that no coach can teach, roughly a decade’s worth packed into one torrid week.

Thomas Pieters and Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who were quite brilliant, performing above and beyond, revelled in showing off their skills to an audience that struggled to pronounce their names.  They’re tripping off the tongue now.

Danny Willett was the most celebrated of Europe’s six rookies because he is the Masters champion, a role he is having to grow into.  He only needs to talk to Jordan Spieth to discover just how much you can be weighed down by great potential and even greater expectations, your own more than those of anyone else.  He was struggling with his game, not what you want during Ryder Cup week and then his brother Pete’s not-so-smart, smart-alec, snarky column hit the stratosphere.

At the beginning there was a lot of intriguing stuff about pairings and personality types but no one remembered that once they hit the Semtex about the American crowds that had to be silenced if the Europeans were to have a chance.  It was not pretty.  It was the sort of thing you might say in the pub with your friends or at home with your nearest and dearest when you can be as nasty and scathing as you like without worrying too much about the consequences.  You might carry it off as a stand-up, with timing and facial expressions helping the cause.  It was a trick that proved impossible to pull off in print.

I shared the column on Facebook and one friend, a Scotsman, said, “Jesus.  All I can say after that is come on USA.”

Good guys having a good time, as it should be.

Good guys having a good time, as it should be.

Once the match started, my Facebook friends were not happy about how the spectators were behaving,  Teasing and banter is fine, even cheering as the opposition go in the water is ok-ish (we did it in the pub!) but vitriolic, sometimes vile personal abuse of a player, his wife, parent, family, friend or anyone is shameful, indefensible and unacceptable.  So is shouting at the top of a player’s backswing or just before he putts.  Loud mouths with immaculate timing (i.e. in between shots) we can tolerate; foul mouths must accompany their owners off the property, pronto.

As you know, I could go on and on but it’s time to stop, congratulate the USA and Davis and the valiant Europeans and Darren and start saving for Paris; it’s not far and they might still be letting us in….If not, there’s always the pub.   Vive Le Cheval Et Jockey!  Vive Le Ryder Cup!