Europeans stage epic comeback

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IOL pic oct1 golf ryder cup Reuters Team Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal (left) of Spain hugs golfer Francesco Molinari of Italy after they won the Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois.

Medinah, Illinois - Inspired by the spirit of Seve Ballesteros, Europe's big guns all delivered as Jose Maria Olazabal's players produced an astonishing comeback to win the Ryder Cup by 14-1/2 points to 13-1/2 at Medinah Country Club on Sunday.

Needing to claim eight points in the concluding singles to retain the trophy, Europe won six of the first eight encounters before Germany's Martin Kaymer secured the vital point to retain the Cup by beating Steve Stricker one up.

After Stricker had coolly holed his par putt from eight feet at the last, Kaymer buried his five-footer for a matching par before thrusting his arms skywards in delight.

“It's undescribable,” the German told reporters. “I was so nervous the last two, three holes. I loved it. It's amazing.”

With the chance of a tie resting on the final match, Tiger Woods astonishingly missed a three-foot par putt on the 18th green to halve his contest with Italy's Francesco Molinari, handing Europe outright victory.

Europe, who sent out their best players early, emulated the miracle comeback achieved by the US at Brookline in 1999 when they also overhauled a deficit of 10-6 on the final day.

The Americans had been bidding to triumph in the biennial competition for only the second time in six editions.

“We believed in our hearts we could win this,” Englishman Luke Donald said. “It's been done before and we believed we could turn it around.”

The Europeans drew inspiration on Sunday from their beloved Ballesteros, who died last year aged 54 after a battle with cancer, with every player wearing the navy blue colours favoured by the Spaniard in the final rounds of tournaments. - Reuters


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