Europe beat United States to regain Ryder Cup

Europe's Rory Mc Ilroy celebrates after holing a putt to halve the 5th during a fourball match on the second day of the 42nd Ryder Cup

"It's hard to argue that when you've got players like Alex [Noren] and Tommy [Fleetwood], who have won around here; that they obviously feel good about themselves".

He finally managed to yank himself free, only for his teammates to lift him off his feet.

Having been humbled in Hazeltine in 2016, Thomas Bjorn's superstars survived a mini fightback from Team USA to get their hands on the most famous trophy in golf once more. "MOLI MOLINARI!" the jubilant spectators roared in a chant that swept across Le Golf National. It's been quite a few months for the little Italian with a big heart.

"It was awesome", Molinari said.

Tommy Fleetwood was the rock star of Europe's victory right down to scenes of crowd surfing but, with his record-breaking contribution, Molinari was the rock.

With Molinari safely on the 16th green, Phil Mickelson conceded their singles match after firing his tee shot into the water, taking Europe to the magical 14.5 mark they needed to win the Cup for the fourth time in the last five.

If the Americans were able to hit fairways they were then faced with green speeds that were noticeably slower than what they play on Tour, a subtle tweak that seemed to particularly impact Tiger Woods who failed to earn at least a half point for the first time in his career at the Ryder Cup. They deserved to win.

The Ryder Cup does odd things to all of us.

"Every day, I saw 'Leave your egos at the door".

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Wildcards Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia also played leading roles for Europe.

It was a superb result for your regular columnist Steve Rawlings, whose four bets included Europe to win and both Molinari and Thomas to top-score. They stopped the rot after the USA swept the opening three fourballs on Friday, defeating Woods and Reed twice to spark a record-equalling run eight of consecutive match wins for Europe. My record was pretty shocking, really, coming into this week.

The rewards arrived this year.

Sport looks at where the 42nd edition of the biennial team golf showdown was won and lost. In golf, there is no tournament on earth where they matter more than the Ryder Cup.

"He has always been a great ball-striker". As one of the five committee men who will rubber-stamp that decision, Bjorn gave the Irishman, who was one of his vice-captains last week, an enthusiastic endorsement. I can't make any comments on it because I actually don't know.

It has been wonderful to see Tiger back in contention, winning at the very highest level. He doesn't get emotionally up and down. Bjorn revealed that those players were fixed in his mind long before he made his public announcement. "It's nice to have a player of his quality and he has delivered, fair play to him". "It was about time to have them but it's about the group not the individual".

It's that mentality that has served the Europeans so well in their two decades of dominance in the event.

"It's disappointing because I went 0-4, and that's four points to the European team", he said.

Reigning British Open champion Molinari defeated five-time major victor Phil Mickelson 4 and 2 to give Europe an insurmountable 14½-9½ lead over the favoured Americans in the biennial team showdown at Le Golf National. "We were determined to do the job and nothing was going to stop us".

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