Rory McIlroy guides Europe home

Rory McIlroy won the first of a series of points on Sunday to drive Europe to yet another Ryder Cup victory.

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Rory McIlroy

 

Report by Anand Datla

 

September 28, 2014: The sight of Paul McGinley leaping into Jamie Donaldson captured European ecstasy in a freeze frame that should adorn papers around the world. The Ryder Cup rookie delivered the decisive point that helped Europe to its eighth victory in the last ten editions of the iconic event. Rory McIlroy delivered the first point on Sunday to set the tone for a fluent European victory, which came quickly as one after another golf brought home the four points needed for them to retain the cup. In the end Europe won by a handsome margin, with the decisive one delivered by debutant Donaldson.

 

It was a dominant performance by the hosts, the result only delayed by a stoic effort from the visitors. The Americans fought with all their heart, doing well in the fourball matches on Friday and Saturday, but in the end they could not match the superior firepower of the Europeans. Europe was leading 16-11 with Victor Dubuisson and Zach Johnson, all square through 15, needing to complete three more holes.

 

McGinley’s battalion of men were leading 10-6 after a dominant afternoon on Saturday. And they took off from where they left, getting off to a solid start on Sunday. McIlroy delivered the first blow with a 5&4 win over Rickie Fowler to pave the way for a well-earned victory march.

 

Martin Kaymer brought down Bubba Watson 4&2 and Justin Rose continued to script incredible heroics to add a layer of special drama to the final day. The Englishman rallied from four back against Hunter Mahan to snatch half a point at the very last hole.

 

Graeme McDowell also had a poignant outing, fighting back from three down against an impressive Jordan Spieth to beat the American rookie 2&1. Europe was only half a point from retaining the cup, but Donaldson defeated Keegan Bradley at the 15th hole to send the Europeans into delirious celebrations.

 

“I’m very proud of every one of these players. I couldn’t have asked for an ounce more from them. I’ve been involved in so many Ryder Cups and seen mistakes we’ve made,” said the European captain. “I’ve changed things a bit, bringing in the fifth vice-captain has been a factor in helping to prepare the guys, especially in the afternoon sessions, but we have had 12 players who have been awesome.”

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