MEDINAH, Illinois (Reuters) - Belgian rookie Nicolas Colsaerts described the post-match Ryder Cup party as “a bit wild” after emerging bleary-eyed on Monday morning following Europe’s remarkable comeback win over United States.
“Everything went so fast yesterday, from everyone standing around the 18th green, to the celebrations and then the party,” Colsaerts told Britain’s Sky Sports television in the lobby of the team hotel in the wake of Europe’s 14-1/2 to 13-1/2 victory.
”You can tell from my voice the party has been a bit wild but the cup will stay in our hands now and we are so glad to be taking it back home.
“Everybody in our camp was involved in the party, caddies, players, everyone, and it was a very special moment.”
Both teams normally get together once the dust has settled following the final-day singles but Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal said only a few American players had joined them at the post-match party.
“Some of the U.S. guys and wives came in but obviously they were feeling down,” said the Spaniard as he cradled the Ryder Cup.
“It was a tough day for them so we have to understand that also. I was on the receiving end of a U.S. comeback a few years back (as a player at Brookline in 1999) so I know how hard it is to take.”
Needing to win eight points from the concluding 12 singles on Sunday, Europe triumphed in six of the first eight encounters before Germany’s Martin Kaymer beat Steve Stricker on the 18th green to retain the trophy at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois.
“This whole experience has given me the most joy but also it’s been the most scary,” said Colsaerts.
“There is just a mix of so many emotions you go through all week and when it ends like this it’s priceless.”
Colsaerts, who picked up a solitary point from his four debut matches, said it would be difficult for some of his team mates to get back to their normal routines at this week’s Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.
“You don’t come across an atmosphere like this anywhere else,” said the 29-year-old who will skip the Dunhill event.
”I can imagine how quiet it’s going to be for the guys who are playing this week. The first tee is going to be like playing in the back garden on your own.
“Once you play in something like the Ryder Cup it really whets your appetite to do it again in the future,” said Colsaerts.
On Sunday, Europe’s players wore the navy blue-and-white colours loved by the late Seve Ballesteros, who died of cancer last year, and a silhouette of the Spaniard on their sleeves.
The Seve Ballesteros Foundation, which collects funds to promote brain tumour support, issued a statement on Monday saluting the team’s win.
“The Seve Ballesteros Foundation congratulates captain Olazabal and the European team for the great victory yesterday at the 39th Ryder Cup,” it said.
”We are very proud of the tribute shown to Seve during the whole week, especially on Sunday. Lots of feelings and emotions were revived again.
“It was great to see the team showing that fighting spirit Seve always showed. They faced adversity and performed great golf to beat a very strong U.S. team,” read the statement.
Writing by Tony Jimenez in London; editing by Clare Fallon