Europe has won golf's Ryder Cup - the biennial international team competition - against the defending champion the United States. Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland claimed the winning point in the final singles match on Monday at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, for a 14.5 to 13.5 victory over the United States.
It went to the wire, McDowell - the 12th man in the singles - against Hunter Mahan. A huge birdie putt at 16 put the U.S. Open champion two-up with two holes to play. And when Mahan came up short and then fluffed a chip at 17, he conceded.
European Captain Colin Montgomerie's team led by three points into the singles. They were cruising initially. The United States surged, though, and they won the session, coming to the brink of retaining the Cup when Ricky Fowler holed from six meters at the last hole - a fourth consecutive birdie - to claim a half point against Italian Edoardo Molinari. Then American Zach Johnson leveled the match.
Montgomerie called the European win his crowning moment. "This is one of the finest moments of my golf ca ... no, hang on. This is the greatest moment of my golfing career," he said.
Montgomerie also praised his teammates, who defeated U.S. Captain Corey Pavin's 12-man team by one point.