Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines - Europe's
finest golfers, sparked by a record-setting victory for Italy's
Francesco Molinari, recaptured the Ryder Cup on Sunday, denying a
dramatic United States fightback to complete an emotional 17.5-10.5
As it happened: Ryder Cup - Day 3
Reigning British Open champion Molinari defeated
five-time major winner Phil Mickelson 4 and 2 as Europe took an
insurmountable edge over the favoured Americans in the biennial team
showdown at Le Golf National.
"It was amazing," Molinari said. "It's an incredible achievement. We did just an amazing job."
the process, Molinari - who had been winless in six prior Ryder Cup
matches - became the first European and only the fourth player ever to
go 5-for-5 in a Ryder Cup and did so just two months after hoisting the
"It feels great but it's not about me," he said. "It was about time to have them but it's about the group not the individual.
"I couldn't even dream of a summer like this."
had seized a 10-6 edge in Saturday's foursomes and fourballs matches
and got the points they needed to swipe the trophy after an early US
surge. Every European player won at least once in the event.
attitude they had was unbelievable," Europe captain Thomas Bjorn said.
"There was a moment when I thought this was going a little bit wrong but
when we got our momentum going it went very quickly."
It turned out to be the most lopsided European triumph since an 18.5-9.5 victory at Ireland's K Club in 2006.
US team needed to match the greatest last-day comebacks in Ryder Cup
history by taking eight singles points to keep the Cup, but there was no
French magic like Europe's 2012 'Miracle at Medinah' or the Americans'
1999 victory in the 'Battle of Brookline'.
"Their captain did a
better job than I did," US captain Jim Furyk said.
"Their players played
better. We just have to tip our caps."
The Americans, who haven't
won in Europe since 1993, lead the all-time rivalry 26-14 with two
drawn but the Europeans' ninth victory in the past 12 attempts gave them
an 11-8 with one drawn edge since expansion from a British-Irish squad
Americans pulled within 10.5-9.5 before Europe's first
singles victory by Danish rookie Thorbjorn Olesen, who beat three-time
major winner Jordan Spieth 5 and 4.
Spain's Jon Rahm followed by
downing Tiger Woods 2 and 1, keeping the 14-time major champion winless
in four matches this week and snuffing out any US momentum.
who led after all but one hole, pumped his fists and screamed with joy
after his winning four-foot birdie putt left Europe two wins from
"To beat Tiger, one of the greatest players of all time, for the pivotal point, it's the best feeling of my life," Rahm said.
Ian Poulter, Europe's wildcard talisman, birdied the 18th hole to beat
world number one Dustin Johnson 2-up and put Europe on the brink.
set the stage for Molinari to clinch the win, making his 5-for-5
history after Mickelson found water at 16 and conceded, setting off a
Only Americans Larry Nelson in 1979 and Arnold Palmer and Gardner Dickinson in 1967 had gone 5-for-5 in 41 prior Ryder Cups.
Sergio Garcia, last year's Masters champion, also made history, beating
Rickie Fowler 2 and 1 to reach 25.5 career Ryder Cup points, breaking
Nick Faldo's old mark of 25. He credited team spirit with helping the
"The feeling we have with each other and how well we connect, it just makes it a little bit easier," Garcia said.
Matches stood on a knife's edge deep into the afternoon as tension built across the back nine.
major winner Rory McIlroy found the same bunker twice and water to lose
the 18th hole and his match 1-up to US rookie Justin Thomas.
Brooks Koepka, this year's US Open and PGA Championship winner, halved
with England's Paul Casey in a match neither led by more than 1-up.
Simpson beat Justin Rose 3 and 2 and US rookie Tony Finau ripped Tommy
Fleetwood 6 and 4, ending the Englishman's bid to match Molinari's
Results in Sunday's singles at the 42nd Ryder Cup between Europe and the United States at Le Golf National:
Europe 17.5 United States 10.5
Justin Thomas (USA) bt Rory McIlroy (Europe) 1-up
Paul Casey (Europe) halved with Brooks Koepka (USA)
Webb Simpson (USA) bt Justin Rose (Europe) 3 and 2
Tony Finau (USA) bt Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) 6 and 4
Thorbjorn Olesen (Europe) bt Jordan Spieth (USA) 5 and 4
Jon Rahm (Europe) bt Tiger Woods (USA) 2 and 1
Ian Poulter (Europe) bt Dustin Johnson (USA) 2-up
Francesco Molinari (Europe) bt Phil Mickelson (USA) 4 and 2
Sergio Garcia (Europe) bt Rickie Fowler (USA) 2 and 1
Patrick Reed (USA) bt Tyrrell Hatton (Europe) 3 and 2
Henrik Stenson (Europe) bt Bubba Watson (USA) 5 and 4
Alex Noren (Europe) bt Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 1-up