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Into The Bear Pit: The Hard-Hitting Inside Story of the Brookline Ryder Cup Hardcover – 8 Jun 2000

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; Reprint edition (8 Jun. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852278544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852278540
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,215,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

The cover is as telling as the words inside: jubilant members of the 1999 US Ryder Cup team dance across the 17th green at Brookline celebrating what they think is victory. Jose Maria Olazabal, meanwhile, stands stunned waiting to attempt to sink a putt that could keep the European side in the match. In Into The Bear Pit European captain Mark James presents his side of the story behind the 33rd Ryder cup. He tells it well, coming over every bit the decent man he did during and immediately after the tournament. However, the quotations at the back of the book speak loudest of the emotions aroused on both sides. One US star, before the final day, implored, "Let's go and kill them", and by the end of that day veteran European Sam Torrance described the events on the 17th (somewhat hyperbolically) as "one of the most disgusting things I have seen in my life". To counter many of the claims of the lack of sportsmanship, defenders of the US side and their support point to specifics, claiming similar instances in Spain two years earlier, branding the Europe side sore losers. As James counters, and most observers can testify, they are missing the point. As winners or losers, the US team have never been subject to such treatment over the course of a tournament. The most telling words here, though, belong to Olazabal, the man stranded on the 17th:

"The whole world saw what happened, and the whole world is going to judge what their behaviour was like. All we ask is respect from our opponents."
--Trevor Crowe


Sunday 26 September 1999. The 17th green at Brookline Country Club near Boston, Massachusetts. It's the closing stages of the 33rd Ryder Cup tournament and the USA and Europe have been battling it out for three days. Then American Justin Leonard holes a monster 45-foot birdie putt and, before his opponent - Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal - has the opportunity to prepare for his own putt, all hell breaks loose. As Leonard's ball drops, American players, caddies, wives, even officials prematurely invade the green in triumph, in the belief that Leonard's putt has just delivered the prize they have been craving. Olazabal still has a putt to keep the Ryder Cup alive, but by this stage several jubilant Americans have already run straight across his line, destroying his concentration in the process. When he eventually is permitted to take his putt, Olazabal inevitably misses. Sir Michael Bonallack, secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and guardian of golf's rules and etiquette, likened the scenes to a "bear pit". But, the disgraceful episode on the 17th green constituted only one skirmish in what has become known as the "Battle of Brookline".

In this volume, European team captain Mark James has chosen to speak out, to give a hard-hitting, blow-by-blow account of the tournament that made the headlines around the globe. His story lifts the lid on events that were not reported at the time, providing answers to the key questions surrounding one of the most controversial stories in golfing history.

8 customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

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