Medinah (Illinois): Europe won the Ryder Cup to complete one of the greatest comebacks in golf to defeat United States on Sunday.
The visitors were in hunt for the eight points that would have helped them to retain the trophy and began well winning the six of the first eight clashes.
Martin Kaymer stood over a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole to clinch the title.
"It will go down in the history books of the Ryder Cup," said European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
Already parallels have been drawn with the American comeback at Brookline in 1999 and some are suggesting this win to be even better.
Europe looked certain to lose the trophy until Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia lead the turnaround filling the scoreboard with European blue.
"What you did out there today was outstanding," Olazabal was quoted as saying to his team in media reports.
"You believed and you delivered. And I`m very proud that you have kept Europe`s hands on this Ryder Cup. All men die, but not all men live. And you made me feel alive again this week."
The Americans were simply stunned.
Three times they came to the 17th hole with a chance to win a match, only for Europe to deliver the key shots that win the Ryder Cup. Ian Poulter won the last two holes, and so did Rose, a birdie-birdie finish to beat Phil Mickelson. Garcia won the last two holes with pars to beat Jim Furyk.
Furyk had beaten Garcia at Brookline in a pivotal match.
If Kaymer had missed the putt and halved his match with Steve Stricker, the Americans would have been one point away from winning — with Tiger Woods in the fairway and 1 up over Francesco Molinari.
Woods wound up missing a 3½-foot par putt and conceded a par to the Italian from the same distance to halve their match. That extra half-point made it a clear-cut win for Europe, 14½-13½. Woods and Stricker, the anchors in the lineup, didn`t win a single match at Medinah.
Love became the first US captain to sit every player at least once before Sunday, wanting them to be fresh for the decisive day. Instead, the Americans faltered at the end — especially Furyk and Stricker, two of his captain`s picks.
The only US points came from Dustin Johnson, who went 3-0 in this Ryder Cup, Zach Johnson and unheralded Jason Dufner.
First Published: Monday, October 01, 2012, 09:22