Europe has won the Ryder Cup for the third consecutive time, and eighth time in the last ten matches, after defeating the USA 16½-11½ at Gleneagles.
Leading 10-6 going into Sunday’s final singles session, Paul McGinley’s men claimed impressive victories in two of the top three matches, courtesy of Northern Irish duo Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, to extend their lead to 12-6 and put one hand on the trophy.
Patrick Reed’s narrow victory over Henrik Stenson reduced the deficit, as did Phil Mickelson’s 3&1 defeat of Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher.
However, when Martin Kaymer saw off Bubba Watson, and Justin Rose salvaged a half-point at the last in his match with Hunter Mahan, the stage was set for rookie Jamie Donaldson to get the Euros over the finishing line. The Welshman duly obliged, arrowing a stunning approach into the 15th to set up a 4&3 win over Keegan Bradley, thrusting McGinley’s team into an unassailable lead, with four matches still on the course.
"We had an inspirational captain and all came together as a team to win." - Match-winner Jamie Donaldson
“We had a plan all week and we stuck to it,” said a jubilant European Ryder Cup captain McGinley afterwards. “I did the easy bit, the players did the hard bit. I know what like to be there as a player in this match, how tough it is, how incredibly excited and nervous you are. But we relished this challenge and did it with a smile on our face, which was so important, and I think we did everyone proud."
Acknowledging the fact that his side had gone into the match expected to win and heavily fancied with the bookmakers, McGinley added: “Yeah, we had pressure on us but, look, Rory is the world No.1 and knows how to deal with situations to when you’re a favourite. So do all these guys. But I took the view we had to embrace it, not be embarrassed about it, and just go with it, and we did.”
Match-winner Donaldson added: “It was lucky it came down to my match, that’s just the way it panned out, but the most important thing was that the team won. We had an inspirational captain and all came together as a team to win it.”
Ryder Cup 2014 :: Your Reactions
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