Europe strolled to victory in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles to secure its fifth win in the last six editions of golf's biggest event
Europe strolled to victory in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles to secure its fifth win in the last six editions of golf’s biggest event.
Paul McGinley’s men entered the Sunday singles with a commanding 10-6 lead – the exact deficit they faced two years ago at Medinah.
But, despite a relatively strong start from the Americans, a USA comeback never really looked on the cards.
Jordan Spieth and Hunter Mahan got off to excellent starts in the first and fourth matches, and a pumped up Patrick Reed edged ahead against Henrik Stenson in the second, but Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer weren’t following the American script.
McIlroy went 4up on Rickie Fowler through the first five holes and Kaymer led by the same margin heading into the back nine with both looking in imperious form.
To have any chance, the USA needed red on the board early on, but Spieth dropped three shots in five holes in the top match to open the door for McDowell.
And the Ulsterman took full advantage, moving two clear on the 15th and shutting out the contest with a six-footer on the 17, moments after compatriot McIlroy completed a comprehensive 5&4 victory over Fowler to make the overall score 12-6.
Stenson missed a four-footer on the 18th to lose out to Reed – who didn’t endear himself to the home crowds with hushing gestures and Poulter-esque displays of emotion – but his victory was of little consequence.
Kaymer had been dormi with Watson since the 14th and closed out the contest in style with a chip-in eagle at the par-5 16th, shortly after Rose – who was 4 down on the front nine – won the 18th to secure a half with Mahan.
And after a short wait, the Ryder Cup was Europe’s once more as Jamie Donaldson – hugely impressive en debut – stiffed his approach on the 15th to see off Keegan Bradley and take the European tally to 14.5.
The 2014 Ryder Cup finished 16.5-11.5 after further victories from Sergio Garcia and halves from Ian Poulter and Victor Dubuisson.
In truth, the final day lacked the drama and excitement of years gone by, but that was just a reflection of Europe’s dominance – particularly in both foursomes sessions – over the three days.
Europe has now won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups.