The U.S. Ryder Cup Team mounted a final-day comeback, winning 8.5 of a possible 12 points, to win the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993.
European Ryder Cup Captain Mark James, riding the success of his pairings the first two days, didn’t allow three players to compete until the singles.
That strategy backfired as the U.S. sped to a 6-0 lead in the singles, winning by an average of four holes per match, and building momentum.
The U.S. combined for 23 birdies and just three bogeys. The Europeans’ leaders for two days, Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik and Spain’s Sergio Garcia, both lost singles matches. America’s leader was Hal Sutton, who finished the week with a team-leading 3.5 points.
Though the U.S. won eight matches on the final day, it still needed the vital half point to secure the Ryder Cup. Justin Leonard, who trailed Spain’s José María Olazábal by four holes with seven to play, came through.
He won four holes to square the match and briefly took the lead on the 17th hole when he stroked home an uphill 45-foot birdie putt.
Olazábal barely missed his 25-foot uphill birdie putt. Olazábal made an 18-foot birdie on the final hole to earn the halve, but ultimately watched the Ryder Cup change hands, by a final tally of 14.5 to 13.5.