Ryder Cup 2014: Europe retain the trophy against United States from BBC Golf
Europe completed their mission in the singles to win the 40th Ryder Cup 16½-11½ against the United States at Gleneagles.
Captain Paul McGinley’s side led 10-6 going into the final day and reached the 14½ needed to win the Cup outright when Welsh rookie Jamie Donaldson beat Keegan Bradley 4&3.
Rory McIlroy struck first with a 5&4 win against Rickie Fowler before fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell came back from three down to beat Jordan Spieth 2&1.
Martin Kaymer chipped in on 16 to defeat Bubba Watson 4&2 and Justin Rose scrapped back from four down against Hunter Mahan to grab a half on the last and take Europe to within half a point.
The 38-year-old Donaldson, playing in the 10th match, sealed the win against Bradley with a stunning approach to the 15th green to spark scenes of euphoria in the Perthshire hills.
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.”
Europe have now won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups, while the US have not won an away match since 1993.
Europe’s singles winners
|Graeme McDowell beat Jordan Spieth 2&1|
|Rory McIlroy beat Rickie Fowler 5&4|
|Martin Kaymer beat Bubba Watson 4&2|
|Sergio Garcia beat Jim Furyk 1UP|
|Jamie Donaldson beat Keegan Bradley 4&3|
“I can’t say enough about our captain,” said world number one McIlroy. “Paul McGinley has been immense. I’m so glad it’s worked out for him.”
US captain Tom Watson was seeking redemption for Medinah two years ago when Europe came back from 10-6 down to win 14½-13½ on the final day, but his side were unable to create their own sensation in Scotland.
“They have a wonderful team, but we came in here thinking we could beat them,” said Watson, 65. “Turns out we couldn’t.”
United States’ singles winners
|Patrick Reed beat Henrik Stenson 1UP|
|Phil Mickelson beat Stephen Gallacher 3&1|
|Matt Kuchar beat Thomas Bjorn 4&3|
|Jimmy Walker beat Lee Westwood 3&2|
Henrik Stenson earlier missed a short putt on the last that would have given him a half against Patrick Reed, while Stephen Gallacher lost 3&1 to Phil Mickelson and Thomas Bjorn went down 4&3 to Matt Kuchar.
After Donaldson had ensured Europe’s win, Sergio Garcia beat Jim Furyk one up, Ian Poulter halved with Webb Simpson, Lee Westwood lost 3&2 to Jimmy Walker and Victor Dubuisson halved with Zach Johnson.
Europe lost Friday morning’s fourballs 2½-1½ but dominated the foursomes to lead 5-3 going into Saturday.
McGinley’s side dominated Saturday afternoon’s foursomes 3½-½ – a 7-1 foursomes tally overall – to move to within four points of retaining the trophy.
Europe never looked in too much danger of squandering their lead and won the singles session 6½-5½ on a triumphant afternoon at Gleneagles.