NEWPORT, October 4 – Europe won the Ryder Cup here on Monday, beating the United States by 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2 points at Celtic Manor.
Graeme McDowell clinched victory in the game’s final match, beating Hunter Mahan three and one to spark wild celebrations amongst the European team and thousands of fans.
The victory won back the Ryder Cup for Europe after the Americans triumphed at Valhalla two years ago.
On an afternoon of nerve-shredding drama, the most fiercely contested trophy in golf was settled in a tense battle between US Open champion McDowell and world number 16 Mahan.
McDowell went two up with two to play after holing a sensational birdie putt on the par-four 16th that left him firmly in the driving seat.
And when Mahan fluffed his chip onto the green at 17 and could only bogey, the American conceded the hole and the Ryder Cup was back in European hands.
The contest had come down to the last singles match after a breathtaking fightback by American youngster Rickie Fowler, the 21-year-old wildcard rookie, who earned an unlikely half point against Edoardo Molinari.
Molinari appeared to be cruising to victory and a full point after leading by three holes with three to play.
But Fowler conjured up three consecutive birdies to level the match, crowning his comeback with a difficult long birdie putt on the 18th green.
Ultimately though, Fowler’s half point was not enough to get the Americans over the finishing line in their quest to reach the magic total of 14 points that would have allowed them to retain the trophy.