Europe Defeats U.S. to Win Ryder Cup


Open champion Francesco Molinari secured the winning point as Europe regained the Ryder Cup with victory over the United States in France.

Europe's 10-6 overnight lead meant they needed just four and a half points from the 12 singles matches for a ninth win in the last 12 biennial contests, but Justin Thomas gave Jim Furyk's side an early boost with victory over Rory McIlroy in the opening match. The pair went 4-0 in team play, the first European team to ever do so, and then Molinari went out and won his singles match on Sunday to score five points in a single Cup, becoming the first man to do that since 1979 (and only the fourth in history, though two of those came in a different format).

Sergio Garcia beat Rickie Fowler to surpass Nick Faldo as the leading points scorer in Ryder Cup history, Ian Poulter lived up to his reputation as "The Postman" as he delivered a point with victory over Dustin Johnson, and it then became a race to have the honour of the winning point with three matches dormie. "We go ahead tomorrow and focus on what's ahead and not what's done".

Tony Finau, paired with Brooks Koepka, rallied the USA, winning three straight holes at one point, but the putting of Sergio Garcia, paired with Rory McIlroy, carried the European duo to a 2 and 1 victory that marked the sixth straight point for Europe.

"We knew how much was on the line to keep that distance", Stenson said afterward, still buzzing from his clutch finish. The 14-time major champion played in four of the five events at the Ryder Cup. In contrast, Woods, Reed, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson, who didn't feature at all on the second day, have contributed zilch for the Americans and all are playing poorly.

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You wouldn't have known any of this was happening if you just watched Woods play this weekend, though.

Because what happens today will determine whether we see any of that or it will be all wiped out in a sea of Sunday red on the board in the singles. US captain Jim Furyk chose not to disrupt his pairings from Friday, altering only the golfers' order of play, and Team Europe continued its dominance in the early Saturday fourball matches. The four-balls match was all square until Molinari ran off three straight birdies.

"If we get off to a fast start tomorrow, these matches will come right to that", Furyk said. They were five up at the turn and, although their opponents rallied with back-to-back birdies at the tenth and 11th, there was no way back.

"Everything feels pretty good", Woods said. Woods, coming off an inspiring victory at the Tour Championship for his first title since his litany of back surgeries, has looked flat in the Paris suburbs.

Playing with two different partners, none of Woods' matches reached the 18th hole. And you know, we came out today and made a decision to play him 36.