Europe WIN Ryder Cup in thrilling finale after holding off valiant USA fightback to clinch victory in Rome | The Sun
EUROPE have won the Ryder Cup 16.5-11.5.
Luke Donald's men put in a blistering performance throughout the weekend as they held their nerve to survive a late US comeback at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
Tommy Fleetwood secured the win on the 16th green, lifting his arms in celebration as Rickie Fowler conceded t make it official.
It means the US failed to retain the title after cruising to a 19-9 victory in 2021 at Whistling Straits.
The Americans have not won outside their homeland since 1993.
In the 44th edition of the Ryder Cup, Europe got off to a flying start on Friday morning and in the end never looked back.
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They won all four of the opening day's foursomes with Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood completing the fantastic start after Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton had got the winning streak going.
Friday afternoon's fourball also saw Europe stay in control as three of the matches were tied before McIlory and Matt Fitzpatrick put their continent 5-0 up by defeating Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.
The United States began to find their form on Saturday, winning four of the eight clashes with partners Max Homa and Brian Harman victorious in both of their clashes.
Day two was not without controversy as things came to an explosive end that led to McIlroy starting a row Patrick Cantlay's caddie Joe LaCava.
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The Northern Irishman was deliberately distract by him as he lined up a putt on the 18th hole.
LaCava was seen taking his cap off and waving it at McIlroy as they engaged in a heated conversation on the green.
The world No2 continued his war with the caddie in the car park and had to be bundled into a vehicle by team-mate Shane Lowry after blowing his top with Team USA after the dramatic defeat to Cantlay and Wyndham Clark.
That was all after European fans mocked Cantlay by waving their hats after reports he was protesting not being paid to play at the Ryder Cup by refusing to wear a cap.
Meanwhile, Justin Thomas was accused of cheating by supporters after he kicked his own ball in what appeared to be an accident.
And Sam Burns quietened a raucous Rome crowd with a brilliant putt and cupped his ears, saying: "What's that? I can't hear you. I can't f***ing hear you."
Europe went into Sunday's singles needing just four points to reclaim the Ryder Cup.
Rahm and Scottie Scheffler's tight match ended in a tie before the wonderful Viktor Hovland impressed again as he beat Morikawa 4&3.
Cantlay defeated Justin Rose 2&1 before Europe went one and a half away as an emotional McIlroy beat Burns 3&1.
Tyrell Hatton then moved his continent to the brink of lifting the trophy as he beat Harman 3&2.
But the celebrations were delayed as Fitzpatrick missed a chance to win the Ryder Cup as his pressure putt fell short, only for Homa to keep his nerve and beat him.
The Americans then went about closing the score as things became nervy in Rome.
Ludvig Aberg fell to Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele beat Nicolai Hojgaard both 3&2.
Thomas then defeated Sepp Straka as the US made a valiant effort in the closing stages.
But it proved to not be enough with Fleetwood rolling his putt within three feet and Fowler conceded.
It sent him two up with two holes to play to guarantee at least a half point for Europe as they chased 14.5.
Fleetwood held out for a 3&1 win to make it official.
It sparked jubilant scenes with fans rushing onto the course to surround the green and one supporter dived into the lake as Fleetwood and Co let their emotions out.
A tearful captain Donald said: "I am pretty emotional. It’s been a long process, an amazing journey and I have really enjoyed this one.
"It was stressful as the US put up a fight today so hats off to them.
"I am so proud of my 12 guys. We formed a bond from day one and they gave me everything. They trusted me and they delivered for me.
"We started off great, which was what we needed. Then a few matches changed to red. We kept looking at the board and thinking, where will we find 14 and a half points?
"But we always had some guys at the back that looked good so it's not going to be quite as close as I thought it might be.
"I can’t even speak."
On victory, Fleetwood said: "I didn't want it to come down to one of us at the back.
"I'm so proud. We have an amazing group of people, we always do.
"This year has been very different and the landscape has changed for Team Europe but I couldn't wish for a better bunch of people to do with this.
"We are one gigantic family and the bonds you make last a lifetime. This is just so cool."
US captain Zach Johnson took responsibility for his nation's failure and hailed Europe, saying: "If I have any immediate reaction it is to tip your cap to Europe and to Luke, they played great and they earned it.
"It's quite simple, we got outplayed by Europe. We showed grit and heart, it got interesting out there today. It ebbed and flowed, it had momentum. I'm proud of my guys.
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"[The defeat] is on me, I made some poor decisions and I will reflect. Those 12 guys played so hard and fought for our country.
"I'll reflect on it and Team USA will be better off at some point. We will use this as motivation."
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