HEXHAM, England – As I told the team last night, having a large lead going into the final day invites the team on the short end of the score to be hyper-aggressive in shooting for pins and going for broke. And, boy, did GB&I do just that. I can't do anything except tip my hat to them – they were outstanding as a team all week, but particularly on Sunday. I also can't express enough how proud I am of our team for grinding out the points we needed to get the tie and retain the Llandudno Trophy.
I feel great about keeping the cup – and I think the final scenario, as badly as I and our team wanted a win, might be the perfect scenario. You don't want this competition to get lopsided because this event should showcase the amazing talent on both squads. A big win by either side can diminish that perspective. This 13-13 draw shows how great players on both teams actually performed. All 20 players deserve to leave Slaley Hall proud of the way they played and the team they represented. I hope they do.
I also hope this PGA Cup is remembered as all that is right with golf – between the hotel and venue, the relationship building between the two PGA organizations, the players and the official parties conducting themselves in a respectful, proud and passionate way, the camraderie and sportsmanship, I do believe the game of golf will be remembered as the ultimate winner of this event.
I've been pointing at this week for a long, long time and I had such huge hopes for how much I'd take it in and enjoy the experience. Somehow, everything about the week exceeded those hopes – by a lot.
Right before the closing ceremony, we met in the team room for a few words, and Mike Small, who showed some tremendous leadership this week, presented me with a special plaque from the team – and told the room that he felt this team came together and bonded in a unique and special way. That meant the world to me.
I'm not very good at hiding my emotions and I've spent the last couple of hours overwhelmed by all the hugs, handshakes, notes, texts, etc. from people just reaching out to say hi or congratulations. I'd love to respond to them all, but I have one final dinner with the team I need to attend, and then I have to pack to go home. I hope there's enough room on our flight back to Baltimore for one extra-special trophy case. That case has more than the Llandudno Trophy – it has a lifetime of memories in there as well.