When Europe strolled to an imperious 11-2 victory against fierce rivals USA in the 2013 Mosconi Cup, history had been written.
Never before had a European side cruised to such a win in the history of the competition, yet Johan Ruijsink’s men had done it – and on American turf too.
The fact that it was Europe’s fourth title in a row – and in the 20th year of the tournament – meant one thing: the players needed to celebrate.
But just how did the European squad come to terms with such a win? And how did they decide to toast their victory?
2013 winner Darren Appleton exclusively tells www.vaishalibhardwaj.com what he did – and how he felt – in the days following the team’s momentous Mosconi Cup triumph.
The build-up and preparation was great for the 2013 Mosconi Cup – for me and the whole team. We played as a team and one unit, unlike the Americans…
Come Sunday evening – the day before the tournament – I knew we were ready and knew we were going to be very hard to beat. I could see in the Americans’ faces they were scared.
We were ready and strong and we put on a great performance as we secured a 5-0 lead, which was the first time in history any team had won a session by such a margin.
In the morning, we all had breakfast as a team and then went back to work.
Captain Johan made sure that in the team room, we were ready and we stayed humble and focused on the plan – which was to win.
We achieved our goal when we took an 8-2 lead.
Again, we were pumped up for battle, and we knew that the first point was huge as it would kill USA’s spirits and hopes of any comeback. So me and Ralf [Souquet] played doubles and put in a great performance – winning 6-3.
By that point, Europe were leading 9-2 and, in my mind, the match was over for them.
But we wanted to finish in style and that’s what we did with our 11-2 victory. We definitely saved our best pool for the last day
Afterwards, the team room was buzzing. My automatic thought was ‘Wow four [titles] in a row – and I’m the only European player to have been part of all of those.’ That’s something I was, and am, very proud of.
My second thought was to then think about celebrating with the fans and our friends later!
Once the presentation was over, we went back to the team room to do loads of signings and have a final squad meeting to thank each other and say what a job well done.
Me and the rest of the team then began the slow walk back to the bar in the hotel, where we were greeted by loads of European fans singing ‘Europe!’
Without even changing our clothes, within an hour, we were drinking hard and long into the early hours.
I woke up at 10.30 am and thought ‘I’ve got to play today again!’ Obviously, I was still drunk and quickly realised the tournament was over and I could go back to bed and recover!
Later, I read lots of the congratulatory messages on Twitter and Facebook before meeting up with the team for a celebration dinner with close friends.
We then went back to the bar to drink – which finished in Mika Immonen’s penthouse at 9 am the next day! It was a great party and a great ending to 2013.
Friday was all about recovering and relaxing as well as reflecting on my year of ups and downs. For me personally, it was a good year but it could’ve been better…
I flew home on Saturday and took a few weeks off before getting back into the grind with a tournament in China.
I finished my house in Pennsylvania, got my own pool table and practised really long hours to make sure I do better in 2014 and play to my full potential week in and week out.
If I do that, I know I will win more titles and make sure I’m in the Mosconi Cup team for the tournament in Blackpool with 2000 people watching. I can’t wait.
The 2014 Mosconi Cup kicks off on the 1st of December in Blackpool, England and is live on Sky Sports.