Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McDOWELL SECURES HISTORIC WIN FOR MONTY; Irishman Lands Ryder Cup for Europe in Dramatic Fashion with Nailbiting Victory in the Final Match over American Mahan

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McDOWELL SECURES HISTORIC WIN FOR MONTY; Irishman Lands Ryder Cup for Europe in Dramatic Fashion with Nailbiting Victory in the Final Match over American Mahan

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smith at Celtic Manor

EUROPE today regained the Ryder Cup here in one of the most thrilling finishes in the competition's history, Graeme McDowell securing the trophy in the very last match of the final round of 12 singles.

Europe beat the United States 141/2-131/2 to avenge their defeat at Valhalla in Kentucky two years ago as the tournament went to the deciding match for the first time since the Americans won at Kiawah Island in 1991.

This year's hosts had gone into the final day holding a 91/2-61/2 lead and needing five points from the final session of 12 singles matches to reach the 14 1/2 points that would mean the trophy returning to this side of the Atlantic.

Crucially, the first win of the day went to the holders, with Steve Stricker beating Lee Westwood 2&1, and America scored a second point when Dustin Johnson crushed US PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer 6&4. Europe's hopes were revived when Ian Poulter beat Matt Kuchar 5&4, Rory McIlroy grabbed his half point against Stewart Cink, and Luke Donald crawled across the line one up on Jim Furyk having earlier held a three-hole lead.

Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez overcame rookie Bubba Watson, and Edoardo Molinari, four up after 12, survived a late scare to halve with Rickie Fowler on the last green.

However, with Londoner Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson, Francesco Molinari and Padraig Harrington all losing in the lower half of the draw, it all came down to McDowell, sensational winner of the US Open back in June, holding his nerve against Hunter Mahan.

The match was on a knife edge but the Northern Irishman critically holed a putt on the 16th to go two ahead with two holes to play.

On the next Mahan fluffed a chip from the edge of the green to leave McDowell with a long putt to take the trophy.

And although he fell just short, Mahan then missed his 12ft putt and the contest was over.

Harrington hailed McDowell and said: "It was incredible. We expected the American team to come out strong but thankfully we had Graeme, our G-Mac, at the end."

The victory sparked massive celebrations among the European team but nobody had more cause to celebrate than captain Colin Montgomerie. …

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