This time it was different, in so many ways.
Olazabal closed his eyes when Kaymer putted for the win, and when the crowd’s reaction gave him the result, he opened them, tears visible. A two-year journey finally complete, Olazabal, a two-time major champion who played on seven European Ryder Cup teams, has something else to be known for now. He was on that ’99 team at The Country Club, and was on the 17th green when the US celebrated Justin Leonard’s famous cup-clinching putt.
On Saturday night, his message to his team was blunt, and brief. Believe.
“I think the boys understood that believing was the most important thing,” Olazabal said. “We started to make a few putts, the Americans started to miss them. This one is for Europe.”