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Europe takes Ryder Cup back from United States on final match

ryder.jpg The celebration begins for Team Europe. (Getty Images)

Updated at 11:57 a.m.

The European team has beaten the United States team, winning back the Ryder Cup in Newport, Wales. Hunter Mahan of the U.S. missed a putt on the 17th hole, giving the victory to Graeme McDowell,.

"This is crazy," McDowell said as the celebration began. "I mean, I've never felt as nervous on a golf course in my life as I felt out there...trying to do it for my 11 teammates, trying to do it for all these people, trying to do it for Monty [European captain Colin Montgomerie], trying to do it for Europe."

Europe edged the U.S. 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 points.

"We came close but didn't quite get there but the bottom line is that I'm very proud of what they did this week," said U.S. team captain Corey Pavin. "I just talked to the team -- it was very tough and emotional."

McDowell said the team drew inspiration from Seve Ballesteros, the Spanish golfer who is battling cancer and addressed the team last week.

"We tried to win it for Seve," McDowell said. "Seve is everything that is European golf. He's our icon, he's our hero. If he draws any positives, any energy from this win...we did it for him this week."

The decision by Colin Montgomerie, captain of the European team, to send McDowell out last turned out to be the right one. "Graeme was put there [at the end] for a very good reason," Montgomerie said in a Sky Sports interview. "He is the U.S. Open champion and full of confidence and that birdie on 16 was quite unbelievable."

Updated at 10:03 a.m.

The United States has moved into a tie (at 13 1/2 points) with Europe in Ryder Cup play, thanks to Rickie Fowler's surprising play and Zach Johnson's victory.

Fowler's clutch 30-foot putt (he birdied the last four holes) salvaged a half-point in his match with Edoardo Moliari just as Johnson was closing out a victory over Padraig Harrington.

So now the Cup comes down to the match between Hunter Mahan and Graeme McDowell.

Updated at 9:56 a.m.

In what will be the final match of the day, the one the Ryder Cup figures to be riding on, Hunter Mahan just cut Graeme McDowell's lead to one hole with three holes to play.

Updated at 9:44 a.m.

Phil Mickelson has closed out his match against Peter Hanson with a victory that cut Europe's lead over the United States to 13-12.

"I was proud to give us a chance to bring it down to the last match [Rickie Fowler vs. Edoardo Molinari], Rickie Fowler has been fighting hard, too. It would be big if he could get a half [point]." Mickelson said. "We're hanging tough. We're going to see if we can't pull one out."

If the United States can rally to win, it would be the second-largest comeback in Ryder Cup history (the 1999 team rallied from four points back). Europe came into today's play with a 9 1/2 to 6 1/2 point lead.

Updated at 9:17 a.m.

Jeff Overton's 3 & 2 victory over Ross Fisher has cut Europe's lead to 13-11.

Updated at 9:15 a.m.

With seven birdies and an eagle over 15 holes, Tiger Woods has beaten Francesco Molinari 4 & 3, cutting Europe's lead to 13-10 over the United States.

Updated at 9:13 a.m.

Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson for the U.S. and Edoardo Molinari of Europe are all at "dormie holes" in their matches, meaning they can lead by the same number of holes that remain for them.

Updated at 9:05 a.m.

Miguel Angel Jiminez beats Bubba Watson, giving Europe a 13-9 lead over the United States. Europe is 1 1/2 points away from taking back the Ryder Cup.

Updated at 8:50 a.m.

Europe presently leads the U.S. team 12-9 in Ryder Cup play. All of the matches underway now are fairly lopsided; the U.S. is leading in four and Europe in three. Europe needs to win two and do no worse than halve another in order to win the Ryder Cup. The U.S. has to win five matches. If they finish in a tie, the U.S. would retain the Cup.

Updated at 8:32 a.m.

Luke Donald has given the European team a 12-9 lead with a 1 up victory over Jim Furyk of the U.S.

Updated at 8:28 a.m.

Tiger Woods is 3 up on Francesco Molinari, thanks to an eagle from the fairway on the 12th hole. It was a nice moment for Woods, who didn't realize the ball had gone in the hole because the pin was out of view. He was incredulous at his shot, in his charming, boyish way of old.

"It's in? It's in?" he asked, then broke into a big grin (something we haven't often seen from him since last Thanksgiving). He jokingly tossed his putter to caddie Steve Williams: "I don't need this."

Filed at 8:08 a.m.

Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson of the United States have won singles matches as the European team leads the U.S. 11 to 9 on the final day of Ryder Cup play in sunny (finally) Newport, Wales.

Stricker beat Lee Westwood 2 & 1; Johnson topped Martin Kaymer 6 & 4. In the other match that has been completed so far, Europe's Ian Poulter beat Matt Kuchar 5 & 4. Stewart Cink and Rory McIlroy halved their match.

Europe must get to 14 1/2 points to win; the U.S. can retain the Cup by getting to 14 points. Because of rain over the weekend, the three-day Cup is being completed on a Monday for the first time in its history.

More headlines:

Thomas Boswell: Can Tiger build on Ryder performance?

Raingear's epic fail

The U.S. team

The European team

Full leaderboard.

By Cindy Boren  | October 4, 2010; 8:08 AM ET
 
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Comments

Well done Europe! The arrogance of the US team has turned to bitterness.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | October 4, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Europe.

Wash Post and other media, Tiger Woods went 3-1 in his matches. On yesterday "when HE lost in a rout" you wrote, I thought that HE and STRICKER lost in a rout. Didn't know he was playing one on two, but according to your news reporting, HE lost to TWO Europeans.

The bias never ends. Hard to deal with and live with the fact that Tiger is the greatest golfer of his generation. Had Phil lost with another teammate, I wonder what the headline would have been, "Phil and xyz lose to xyz and xyz".

Posted by: morrisday1 | October 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Having had the World's Best Golfer title practically handed to him on a silver platter at every tournament during the season, Phil Mickelson couldn't make the cut.

Why isn't Phil Mickelson the number one rated golfer in the world?

Simple. Phil Mickelson is not the best golfer in the world. Period.

Posted by: apspa1 | October 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The United States simply isn't as good as the Europeans in non-individual matches. They always seem to go into individual play having to climb a mountain to come back. Also, several of the players looked like they were gagging big time today. The U.S. isn't nearly as strong as they once were from 1-12, while the Euros always seem to have depth and mojo in this event.

Posted by: randysbailin | October 4, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Who cares, it's golf.

Posted by: jab00 | October 4, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

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