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Thank God the Ryder Cup isn’t an annual event. The nation’s collective heart couldn’t stand it. I am by nature a fatalist; all day I could see a 14 — 14, USA retain the cup, result, looming, but GMac booked his place in history and Hunter Mahan wound up in tears at the press conference. Yes, it’s a team game, but Mr Mahan will never quite see it that way. For every hero, there has to be a fall guy, and the greater the triumph on one hand, the greater the humiliation on the other. On the other side of the coin, Graeme McDowell seems crowned already as Sports Personality of the Year, but will it work out that way, or will voters realise that the recognition really belongs to the guy who had the guts to send him out there to settle everything with a single stroke of his putter and a shot straight and true, when it really mattered?

It will be interesting to watch how careers develop after this. Will Ricky Fowler win a major next year, or is he one of those guys, like Ian Poulter, who is more suited to match play than medal play? Will Mahan ever recover? Has Tiger found his game again? Will Monty get his back, now that he’s freed to the burden of continental expectation? The next two year cycle begins on Thursday, with the Links Championship. During that period all these questions will be answered, and many that haven’t even been raised yet.

Sir Colin Montgomerie in the New Year Honours List? Now there’s a thought.

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