Ryder Cup 2014: Europe cruise to 16½ -11½ victory over USA to retain trophy at Gleneagles
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 28/09/14 11:47pm
Europe have won the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles after holding their nerve in Sunday’s singles matches to clinch a 16½ -11½ victory over USA.
G McDowell bt J Spieth 2&1
P Reed bt H Stenson 1 up
R McIlroy bt R Fowler 5&4
J Rose A/S H Mahan
P Mickelson bt S Gallacher 3&1
M Kaymer bt B Watson 4&2
M Kuchar bt T Bjørn 4&3
S Garcia bt J Furyk 1up
I Poulter A/S W Simpson
J Donaldson bt K Bradley 5&3
J Walker bt L Westwood 3&2
V Dub'sson A/S Z Johnson
The hosts started the final day needing four-and-a-half points to maintain their recent dominance over America in the bi-annual event and early wins from Northern Ireland duo Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell teed them up perfectly before debutant Jamie Donaldson sealed a third successive European win and sixth in the last seven meetings.
Welshman Donaldson, playing in the antepenultimate match, capped a year to savour with victory over Keegan Bradley on the 15th green, sparking wild scenes of celebration from another packed crowd in Scotland.
Leading 10-6 heading into the third and final day, America needed to produce something akin to Europe’s ‘Miracle at Medinah’ to return home with the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993.
But McDowell vindicated captain Paul McGinley’s decision to send him out first with a stirring comeback to rally from three down and prevail 2&1 over American rookie Jordan Spieth.
McDowell's compatriot McIlroy had started the ball rolling for Europe moments earlier after romping to a 5&4 win over Rickie Fowler.
The world No1 was in irrepressible form, carding seven birdies and one eagle in his first 12 holes to power clear of Fowler, who simply couldn’t compete.
Patrick Reed gave USA an early point with a one up win over Henrik Stenson to end his first taste of the Ryder Cup as the tourists’ highest points scorer, however there was a distinct lack of red elsewhere on the leaderboard.
Justin Rose finished as the leading points scorer after a halved match with Hunter Mahan took his tally to four and saw him remain unbeaten for the week, while Matt Kucher thrashed Thomas Bjorn 4&3 with the help of an eagle on the eighth hole.
Local favourite Stephen Gallacher finished pointless on his Ryder Cup bow after a 3&1 defeat to Phil Mickelson, but Martin Kaymer’s chip in for victory on the 16th against Bubba Watson put Europe on the brink.
Donaldson missed the chance to wrap up the win on the 14th green but a sublime approach on the next saw Bradley concede and hand the Europeans a fourth successive home win.
Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk met for a third time and it was the Spaniard who picked up the point after finishing with three birdies and an eagle in the last five holes.
Ian Poulter kept his unbeaten singles record at the Ryder Cup in tact with a battling half against Webb Simpson but fellow Englishman Lee Westwood will have to wait for another tournament to score his 24th career point after he failed to get going against the impressive Jimmy Walker, who triumphed 3&2.
France's Victor Dubuisson and Zach Johnson were the final pairing and had to play out their match with celebrations brewing in the European camp, the American adding a consolation half on the last.