By Thomas Dodd
- United States recapture Ryder Cup trophy from Europe
- Victory for America is their first since 2008
- Davis Love III’s USA side defeat Darren Clarke’s men 17-11 in the final reckoning.
HAZELTINE NATIONAL GOLF CLUB, MINNESOTA, AMERICA- The United States of America regained the Ryder Cup from Europe after three successive defeats following the final set of twelve singles matches on Sunday.
Final wildcard pick Ryan Moore – who only confirmed his place on the team after finishing second at the TOUR Championship last weekend – sealed the decisive point for the home side by defeating Lee Westwood 1up to help the States reach the 14.5 points they needed to confirm victory.
The final score read 17-11 in favour of Davis Love III’s men.
Trailing 9.5 to 6.5 going into the day, Europe had to get points on the board early and Captain Darren Clarke front-weighted his side to try and turn the scoreboard blue to gain momentum.
Rory McIlroy led the visitors out and had the early lead over American Patrick Reed but the hosts’ player of the week produced a sensational performance capped off by a birdie at the last to see off the Northern Irishman 1up.
An electric atmosphere followed the pair around, and the duo mimicked each other’s trademark celebrations with every passing birdie and holed putt.
The first match to finish saw Europe post the early point they needed as Henrik Stenson produced an error-free performance to defeat an out of sorts Jordan Spieth 3&2.
Blue continued to dominate the leaderboard early and rookie Thomas Pieters rounded out a superb Ryder Cup debut to claim his fourth point from five matches in a comfortable 3&2 success over J.B Holmes.
And when fellow rookie Rafa Cabrera Bello bested Jimmy Walker 3&2 the impossible looked on once more for Europe as they pulled to within a point at 10.5-9.5 down.
But that was as good as it got for Clarke’s men, and with the USA always up in the final five matches on the course Europe’s prospects looked bleak.
Rickie Fowler outlasted Justin Rose on the final green to push the States further ahead and from there on in the home side romped to victory as Europe’s tailenders – comprised mostly of the rookies who had played only one match all week – struggled to make an impression.
Brooks Keopka ended a fine week by thrashing Masters champion Danny Willett 5&4 before Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia shared a half in one of the most high quality matches in Ryder Cup history.
Both players recorded a string of birdies and when Mickelson rolled in a 20 footer for his tenth under par hole of the day he had secured himself at least a half point for his team’s tally, which was confirmed when Garcia knocked in a 10 footer for a three moments later.
The next American point came from Brandt Snedeker, who brought his team to within a half point of victory by defeating Andy Sullivan 3&1, before Moore put the Europeans out of their misery by parring the last to overcome Westwood.
Sensationally, the man who didn’t know he was in the team until last Sunday night recovered from two down with three to play to deny Westwood even a half point from the week.
Matt Fitzpatrick’s Ryder Cup debut ended meekly as the young Brit went down 4&3 to Zach Johnson before Dustin Johnson added to the misery by outlasting debutant Chris Wood 1up.
Martin Kaymer, who famously holed the winning putt to complete the miracle comeback at Medinah the last time the cup was played in the States in 2012, came from three down with six to play to defeat Matt Kuchar but it was scant consolation for the Europeans, who relinquish ownership of the trophy for the first time since 2010.
Much was made going into the week of the USA’s taskforce, the designated committee set up to leave no stone un-turned in their efforts to make sure the trophy stayed across the pond for the first time in eight years and it was clear the decision to set up the board proved an inspired one.
With an experienced team of Vice-Captains – including Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk – doing everything they could behind the scenes to ensure success, it was left to the home side to celebrate their tremendous achievement in glorious sunshine alongside their adoring and jubilant set of loyal supporters.
The 2018 Ryder Cup will take place at Golf Nationale, just outside Paris in France, the first time the European leg of the event will be held outside of the UK and Ireland since Valderama in 1997.
Sunday Singles Results:
Patrick Reed def. Rory McIlroy 1up
Jordan Spieth lost to. Henrik Stenson 3&2
J.B Holmes lost to. Thomas Pieters 3&2
Rickie Fowler def. Justin Rose 1up
Jimmy Walker lost to. Rafa Cabrera Bello 3&2
Phil Mickelson HALVED with Sergio Garcia
Ryan Moore def. Lee Westwood 1up
Brandt Snedeker def. Andy Sullivan 3&1
Dustin Johnson def. Chris Wood 1up
Brooks Koepka def. Danny Willett 5&4
Matt Kuchar lost to Martin Kaymer 1up
Zach Johnson def. Matt Fitzpatrick 4&3
41st Ryder Cup:
United States 17
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