Traditionally, the Ryder Cup is a three-day event that concludes on a Sunday. For the first time, it ended on a Monday because of the epic rain that turned Celtic Manor, an American-style course on the outskirts of Cardiff, into a mud bath.In the end it came down to the last twosome on the course, Hunter Mahan vs. Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland. McDowell, the U.S. Open winner, holed putts from odd places and played with a brio that brought to mind Seve Ballesteros, defeating Mahan on the 17th hole. The Euros secured an exciting, well-played, 14.5-13.5 victory.
2 of 5Eduardo Verdugo/AP
The golf itself was thrilling, as In-Kyung Kim shot a final-round 64 to race past Suzann Pettersen, the third-round leader. But the reason it rises to top-5 status is because of what Kim did after her victory: She donated her entire winnings, $220,000, to charity. Half to a Mexican foundation run by Ochoa, half to an American charity. It was a stirring act from a player, born in Korea and now a U.S. resident, who has no showboat in her.
3 of 5Fred Vuich/SI
This was the week Tiger Woods made his return to golf after his self-imposed exile. Even with all the noise in his life, and fighting his swing and putting poorly, he still managed to tie for 4th.
In the end, Phil Mickelson closed with a 67 to finish three clear of Lee Westwood. Then came the moving part. The appearance, for the first time all year, of Mickelson's wife, Amy, another beloved presence in the game who had been undergoing treatment for cancer.
4 of 5Chris Stewart/AP
The final round at Hualalai on Hawaii's Big Island came down to a duel between Tom Watson and Fred Couples. Neither man, by and large, missed a shot. Watson shot a final-round 65 and Couples shot 64, but the old man won by a shot. It was amazing golf.
5 of 5Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Tiger Woods had a four-shot lead going into the final round, and he had never lost with that big a lead through 54 holes. The most dynamic and interesting golfer of the year, Graeme McDowell, was playing with him in the finale, at Sherwood Country Club.
McDowell did to Woods what Woods, for 14 years, has done to others. He made unlikely putts and watched Woods miss makeable ones. McDowell won with a 22-footer for birdie on the first hole of sudden death.
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