Ruthless Europe retain iron grip on Ryder Cup

Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:35pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Europe maintained their Ryder Cup stranglehold over the United States with a crushing five-point victory on Sunday as rookie Jamie Donaldson had the honor of securing the decisive point to make it eight wins in the last 10 matches.

Starting the day 10-6 up, Europe needed four points to retain the trophy they won after coming back from the same score two years ago and got there with plenty to spare, winning the singles battle 6-1/2 - 5-1/2 for an overall 16-1/2 - 11-1/2 victory.

The result was a ringing endorsement for the sensitive and thoughtful captaincy of Paul McGinley, who joins the Ryder Cup Hall of Fame having also sunk the putt that won the trophy in 2002.

"I did the easy bit, and I really mean that," said McGinley.

"I know how difficult it is to play in a Ryder Cup. I know when your heart is jumping out of your chest how incredibly excited and nervous you are. But we relish this challenge. We did it with a smile on our face, which is so important, and we did everybody proud I think."

If it was all champagne and smiles for the hosts, the American team's week ended in somewhat, and unusually, acrimonious style when Phil Mickelson slammed the tactics of his captain Tom Watson, who he said had not engaged with his players and should have used the "pod" system that worked so well for their last victory in 2008.

No amount of engagement, planning or even podding could have stopped Rory McIlroy on Sunday as his superlative 5&4 demolition of Rickie Fowler set Europe on their way.

Graeme McDowell, who fought back from three down at the turn, then beat Jordan Spieth to add a second point.   Continued...

Team Europe golfer Jamie Donaldson (L) celebrates with teammate Rory McIlroy after winning his match against U.S. player Keegan Bradley to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe on the 15th green during the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 28, 2014.   REUTERS/Eddie Keogh