Sutton Coldfield (England): Europe clinched a famous Ryder Cup triumph on Sunday, Colin Montgomerie setting the tone as the hosts dominated the singles matches to beat the US 15-1/2 points to 12-1/2.
Ireland’s Paul McGinley secured victory with a nine-foot putt on the last green at The Belfry to earn the half point that lifted the Europeans to the winning total of 14-1/2.
“What a team. It was tremendous and it was always going to be close,” European captain Sam Torrance said. “Colin (Montgomerie) has been fantastic all week. All I did was lead them to the water and they drank copiously.”
“I knew how important it was, and it was for the Ryder Cup,” McGinley said. “It was the matter of having the nerve to hit the putt on the line, and fortunately I did.”
Torrance’s ploy of sending his best players out early proved to be a masterstroke, and American world No. 1 Tiger Woods, last out against Jesper Parnevik, was left stranded in a dead contest that was halved long after the celebrations had started.
It was only the third time Europe had had the better of the singles matches in the last 12 Ryder Cups.
The hosts’ momentum gathered pace during a sun-drenched afternoon and no one captured their mood of growing confidence better than the unheralded Phillip Price. The Welshman, 119th in the world rankings, reeled off five birdies to upset world No. 2 Phil Mickelson 3 and 2.
Needing 6-1/2 points on the final day to regain the trophy they last held at Valderrama in 1997, Europe secured comfortable early victories through Montgomerie, who won a record-equalling 4-1/2 points in the match, Padraig Harrington and Bernhard Langer.
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