The US team dominated the final round single matches in Minnesota on Sunday, clinching victory over Europe by a wide margin of 17-11 and winning back the Ryder Cup for the first time in nearly a decade.
It was left to Ryan Moore (photo) to sink the winning putt to give the US the points they needed to win golf's greatest team competition for the first time in eight years on Sunday at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.
Moore won his match with an eagle at the par-5 16th, a birdie at 17 and a conceded par at 18 to produce a 15-10 lead Europe could not overtake. After all the matches were completed, the final score was 17-11 to the Americans.
"To score the clinching point in the Ryder Cup is just incredible," Moore said afterwards. "I can't digest what just happened. I was trying my hardest not to let my team down."
US team captain Davis Love put the win down to a "shift in attitude, a positive attitude" and gave credit to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods for motivating the team and working out the strategy. "We're all pulling together in the same direction," he said.
"I'm just proud of these guys. They had a lot of pressure on them for the last two years," Love said. "Every time we picked a guy, they had more and more pressure, more and more questions. I'm just so proud of the way they played."
US team dominated from the start
Sunday's win marks only the third time in 23 years that the Americans have achieved victory in the Ryder Cup, which began in 1927 between two teams drawn from the US and Great Britain and a trophy donated by English businessman Samuel Ryder. The competition broadened out to include Europe in 1979.
Europe had dominated the Ryder Cup in recent years, winning eight times in the last decade, but the US team controlled the match from its start on Friday.
Despite sinking a huge put on the 8th, Rory McIlroy was unable to win against Patrick Reed, with the American finishing 1-up. The European loss in the first match of the day gave the US team a major boost.
This year's Open winner Henrik Stenson beat two-time major winner, the 23-year-old Jordan Spieth 3 and 2 and 24-year-old Belgian rising talent Thomas Pieters beat J.B. Holmes by the same margin. Olympic gold-medalist Justin Rose went down by a hole to Rickie Fowler.
On a brilliantly sunny, warm day, Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello completed a fine week by beating Jimmy Walker 3 and 2.
England's Danny Willett ended a difficult week, losing 5 and 4 to Brooks Koepka. While the 50,000 sports fans gathered at the Hazeltine course had made their support for their team more than obvious, Masters Champion Willett was singled out after his brother had called American supporters a "baying mob of imbeciles" on social media earlier in the week.
Zach Johnson beat 22-year-old Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick 4 and 3, while US Open Champion Dustin Johnson beat Chris Wood, one up on the 18th hole.
Five-times major winner Phil Mickelson jumped in the air after an 18-foot birdie putt to halve his match with Spain's Sergio Garcia.
Finishing last was Germany's Martin Kaymer, who had played such a pivotal role in holing the putt that retained the trophy for Europe at Medinah in 2012. He came from behind to beat Matt Kuchar on the 18th green.
"There's nothing bigger," Kaymer said. "The Majors, it's kind of like a selfish win. I won it for myself, for my career, for my caddie. But the Ryder Cup putt includes hundreds of people."
The next Ryder Cup will be held in France in 2018.
jm/cmk (Reuters, AFP)