PARIS: Europe thrashed the United States 17½-10½ to regain the Ryder Cup – prompting wild celebrations, tears, and one player dressing as a pillar box at Le Golf National in France.
Open champion Francesco Molinari beat Phil Mickelson to get Europe to the 14½-point winning mark, simultaneously becoming the first European to win five points in one Ryder Cup.
The Italian, who was immediately drenched in beer by celebrating fans, said it “means more than winning majors”.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia secured a victory of his own to surpass Sir Nick Faldo as the Ryder Cup’s leading points scorer with 25½, then sobbed as he was called a “legend” by team-mate Justin Rose.
“I don’t usually cry, but I couldn’t help it, what a week,” he said. “It’s been a rough year, but we fought hard. I’m so thankful to Thomas Bjorn for believing in me.”
Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy led ‘thunder clap’ cheers with an exuberant 70,000-strong crowd, while captain Thomas Bjorn embraced each of his “amazing” players.
“Some people say golf is boring – well, this is certainly not boring,” said Bjorn. “I’ve experienced a lot of Ryder Cups but this is the top one.”
His opposing captain Jim Furyk said: “You have to tip your cap, they outplayed us.”