Europe have won back the Ryder Cup after edging the Americans 14½ 13½ at Celtic Manor, with Graeme McDowell getting the crucial point in the final match against Hunter Mahan.

Mahan came up short on the par-3 17th and played a poor chip, and even though McDowell left his first putt short from the fringe, the American was unable to force the Ulsterman to putt out meaning Europe avenged their defeat at Valhalla two years ago.

The real drama unfolded when Rickie Fowler bounced back to win the final three holes against Edoardo Molinari to earn a crucial half point, which included two nerveless putts on 17 and 18 that left Europe willing on their US Open champion.

Pictures: Gallery of the day’s play

McDowell responded in style to losing 15 with a fantastic birdie on 16 that set up an eventual 3&1 win.

With Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer going down 2&1 and 6&4 to Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson respectively, Europe were put on the back foot.

However, Luke Donald edged Jim Furyk 1UP and Ian Poulter disposed of Matt Kuchar 5&4 to leave Colin Montgomerie’s men in a strong position.

Tiger Woods was two down against Francesco Molinari after just two holes, but the world number one responded with a string of birdies and an eagle two on the par-5 10th, going on to win 4&3.

Phil Mickelson earned his first point of the 2010 Ryder Cup courtesy of his 4&2 victory over Peter Hanson, but it all proved academic.

2010 Ryder Cup picture gallery