Europe retain Ryder Cup after convincing 16.5 – 11.5 victory
Europe have held onto their Ryder Cup title against the USA after a fantastic finish in the singles session on the last day, in the 40th edition of the most famous golfing team competition. The hosts took a 16.5 – 11.5 victory in Scotland.
Northern Ireland pair Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell got the Europeans rolling, after Paul McGinley’s men took at dominant 10-6 lead into the final session at Gleneagles, while Welshman Jamie Donaldson got the winning point.
The hosts knew that they went into this session with the same deficit that the Americans held two years ago, before Europe staged a remarkable comeback. However, that was not to be for Tom Watson’s men.
World number one McIlroy, who teed off third, demolished his friend and rival Rickie Fowler 5&4, and his compatriot McDowell, who started off the day, made a remarkable comeback to see off Jordan Spieth (2&1).
Englishman Justin Rose, meanwhile, got a hard-fought half point, after coming back as well against Hunter Mahan. Ryder Cup specialist Ian Poulter also drew his battle with Webb Simpson, who led by one on the final hole.
Martin Kaymer (4&2) and Sergio Garcia (one shot win) also scored a point for Europe against Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk respectively.
In the final singles encounter, young Frenchman Victor Dubuisson drew with Zach Johnson to confirm a five-point victory. The next time this competition is to be held in Europe in 2018, it will take place in Dubuisson’s home country at Le Golf National Albatross Course in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
The victory means that the Europeans have won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups in what marks a dominant era.
Those who gained points for the USA were Patrick Reed (one), Phil Mickelson (3&1), Matt Kuchar (4&3) and Jimmy Walker (3&2), who beat respective opponents Henrik Stenson, Stephen Gallacher, Thomas Bjorn and Lee Westwood.
Europe captain McGinley said: “I’m very proud of every one of these players. I couldn’t have asked for an ounce more from them. I’ve been involved in so many Ryder Cups and seen mistakes we’ve made.
“I’ve changed things a bit, bringing in the fifth vice-captain has been a factor in helping to prepare the guys, especially in the afternoon sessions, but we have had 12 players who have been awesome.”
McIlroy, meanwhile, said of the Irish skipper: “I can’t say enough about our captain. Paul McGinley has been immense. I’m so glad it’s worked out for him.”
The two sides now have two years to prepare for the next Ryder Cup with is to be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.