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Davis Love III

Davis Love III

Love's game plan fizzles on final day Add to ...

MEDINAH - A somber US skipper Davis Love III was reeling from Europe's shock upset Sunday at the 39th Ryder Cup saying he knew he had made some mistakes in his choices.

"We're all kind of stunned," Love said. "We know what it feels like now from the '99 Ryder Cup.

"It's a little bit shocking. We were playing so well. Everybody on our team was playing so well, we just figured it didn't matter how we sent them out there.

"But we put who we thought was our hot players up front and we put who we thought was our steady players in the back that would get us points."

Love's game plan started to unravel from the start of Sunday's singles.

Europe came out with plenty of fire and went on to win eight of 12 singles matches for a 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 total to equal the greatest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history.

Europe was able to turn the tables on the Americans who recorded a similar comeback in 1999 in Brookline, Massachusetts by overcoming a 6-10 deficit.

But this one stings because it happened on US soil.

"Anytime you lose a segment that badly, it is going to cost you the Ryder Cup," Love said. "It's exactly the same, same score. They came back and won.

"Give them a lot of credit; they played very, very well.

"They had a couple hot streaks the first two days that kept them in it. Ian's (Poulter) hot streak at the end there yesterday gave them some confidence, and I know they built on that."

Love was given the captain's job after winning six caps and serving as one of Corey Pavin's assistants two years ago. He faced European captain Jose Maria Olazabal and the late Seve Ballesteros in his first three Ryder Cup games,

Love said they didn't get the start they had hoped for Sunday from their big guns, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley, who all lost their singles matches.

"Guys that started hot the first couple days did not start hot today," Love said.

"We all thought it would come down to Jason Dufner, and he played very, very well. We just got a couple matches flipped there in the middle that cost us."

Love, who played in six Ryder Cups, knows he will be second guessed for some of his decisions this week, including resting the red-hot duo of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in the Saturday afternoon fourballs.

"We all went to plan. We were four ahead. The plan worked the first two days, it just didn't work today," said Love, who played in the 1999 Brookline Ryder Cup.

"I am going to second guess myself for a long time. Could have done a lot of things differently ...."

Mickelson defended the US captain, saying he and Bradley needed to sit out for a spell because they had put so much energy into their three previous victories.

"Keegan and I knew going in that we were not playing in the afternoon and we said on the first tee that we are going to put everything we have in this one match,"Mickelson said.

"When we got to 10, I went to Davis and I said, 'Listen you are seeing our best: you cannot put us in the afternoon, because we emotionally and mentally are not prepared for it. I know you are going to get pressure because we are playing so good. We have other guys that are dying to get out there and we won't have anything later and so you need to stay with our plan.'"

Said Love, "I thought it was the funniest thing I ever heard. He was really adamant that he did not think they should play. It was a tough call but we had a lot of tough calls."

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