Europe regained the Ryder Cup with a dominant victory over the United States at Le Golf National in France.
Open champion Francesco Molinari beat Phil Mickelson 4&2 to get Europe to the 14½-point winning mark, before Sergio Garcia won to become the Ryder Cup’s leading points scorer with 25½.
The Americans, trailing 10-6, had threatened a comeback by winning 3½ of the first five singles points.
But Europe’s Jon Rahm, Ian Poulter and Thorbjorn Olesen all won their matches.
And the winning moment came when Mickelson, three down with three to play, hit his tee shot on the par-three 16th into the water and conceded the hole and match.
Victory for Molinari means he becomes the first European to win five points in one Ryder Cup. After being drenched in beer by celebrating fans, he said it “means more than winning majors”.
That spirit has prevailed throughout the European team all week. They went in to the match as underdogs despite the US not having won in Europe since 1993. The American side boasted 31 major titles, and 11 of their players are in the world’s top 17.
But Le Golf National is a different course to those the Americans are used to playing on – the tight fairways and deep, penal rough, a world away from the vast majority of PGA Tour courses.
Only three of the American dozen had played a competitive round at the home of the French Open before this week, and it showed as the European players, who have played in excess of 200 rounds between them, looked more at ease.
Postman Poulter delivers again
The Americans put their best players out at the top of the singles order and the gamble appeared to be paying off for captain Jim Furyk with three wins and a halved match out of the first five.
Both the opening matches went down to the 18th, with Justin Thomas defeating Rory McIlroy after an epic battle before Brooks Koepka rolled in a three-footer to share his equally entertaining match with Paul Casey.
World number two Justin Rose failed to recover from losing the second and third holes to Webb Simpson and was three down after eight. Rose birdied the par-three 16th but the American holed his second shot to close out a 3&2 win.
Tommy Fleetwood’s hopes of becoming the first European to win all five matches at a single Ryder Cup were crushed by Tony Finau. None of the first 11 holes were halved but the American won eight of them to the Englishman’s three to go five ahead and he eventually won 6&4.
But then the tide turned. Poulter, so often the European to spark a momentum change, holed a birdie putt on the 14th to edge ahead of world champion Dustin Johnson in their see-saw contest and the roar reverberated around the course.
Moments later, those around the 14th green were roaring again when Olesen completed an unlikely 5&4 victory over Jordan Spieth to put Europe 11½-9½ ahead.
Olesen had not played since losing in the fourballs on Friday morning and his victory was built on four birdies on the front nine as he went five clear, while Spieth, who has been one of the US team’s star players with three points, never recovered from three successive bogeys.
Poulter then went two holes up on Johnson after the American dumped his second to the par-four 15th into the water.
Up on the 16th, Rahm missed a short putt to allow Tiger Woods to get back within a hole but the Spaniard nailed his approach to the 17th to four feet and holed the putt to add another blue point.
Rahm punched the air in delight, striding around the green in raucous celebration, before calming himself enough to console Woods, who had waited patiently to congratulate his conqueror.
Johnson won the 16th to stay in touch with Poulter but the thousands gathered round the 17th green were expecting to celebrate another European point minutes later.
Poulter, for once, failed to deliver, missing a six-footer to win the match. However, he strode to the final tee, smashed his drive down the middle and flicked a mid-iron to six feet, a putt conceded by Johnson, to put Europe 13½-9½ ahead and just one point from regaining the trophy.
Any one of Molinari, Garcia, or Henrik Stenson could have secured the winning point and it was the Italian who did so.
More to follow.