PARIS • Rookie Jon Rahm produced a pivotal victory over Tiger Woods, Ian Poulter was his usual rip-roaring self and Francesco Molinari secured the winning point as Europe regained the Ryder Cup with a dominant 171/2-101/2 victory yesterday.
Europe's 10-6 overnight lead over the United States team meant they needed just 41/2 points from the 12 singles matches at a packed Le Golf National for a ninth win in the last 12 biennial contests.
Molinari, who won his first Major title at The Open Championship in July, beat Phil Mickelson on the 16th to post the point needed to reach the winning tally of 141/2.
Mickelson conceded the hole after firing his tee shot into the water with Molinari on the green, to leave the Italian as the first European to win all five matches in a week - having not won any of his previous six.
Justin Thomas had given Jim Furyk's side an early boost with victory over Rory McIlroy in the opening match. And, when Webb Simpson beat Justin Rose 3 & 2 and Tony Finau thrashed the previously unbeaten Tommy Fleetwood 6 & 4, the gap was down to a single point and American hopes of a repeat of the comeback at Brookline in 1999 were very much alive.
However, Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen then thrashed three-time Major winner Jordan Spieth 5 & 4 and Rahm picked a perfect time to win his first match and leave Woods without a single point.
After ending a five-year victory drought by winning the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Woods looked mentally drained all week in Paris.
"To beat Tiger, one of the all-time greats, if not the greatest, on the Sunday at a pivotal point, it is the best feeling of my life," said Rahm.
Defeat means the US' long run of failure on European soil in the biennial team competition goes on. The last time they won away was in 1993.
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS