Published: Sun, September 30, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Europe celebrate winning the Ryder Cup

Europe celebrate winning the Ryder Cup

Woods made unfortunate history at the Ryder Cup today. The match was all square briefly after a Woods birdie on the 12th, but Rahm won the next two holes and eventually closed out the 14-time major champion 2 and 1, paving the way for a European team win.

British Open champion Francesco Molinari was just as good on his own as he was with Tommy Fleetwood. The home team has a 14½-9½ lead with three matches still on the course at Le Golf National.

The most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning. Phil Mickelson, who struggled all week and helped engender the task force that led to the selection of this team, hit a ball in the water on No. 16, took off his hat and conceded to Francesco Molinari.

The celebration and singing had already begun. All that remained was Alex Noren in the anchor match.

Moments earlier, Europe's Ryder Cup talisman, Ian Poulter, had beaten Dustin Johnson, the world number one, leaving captain Thomas Bjorn's team poised for victory after an early American fightback.

However, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson hung on for a potentially vital victory over Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, the European pair prevailing on the 17th to leave the United States of America with a mountain to climb.

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The victory moved Garcia onto 24 1/2 points at the Ryder Cup - past Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Billy Casper, and with only Nick Faldo on 25 ahead of him. The idea was to build continuity and momentum, and it seemed to work when they won at Hazeltine in 2016.

Woods spoke to reporters on Saturday, talking about how frustrated he was with his 0-3 start at the Ryder Cup. He ended it by setting a more dubious Ryder Cup record with 22 losses. Both now have a chance of emulating Larry Nelson, the only player to have claimed a full five points since the current format was introduced in 1979, the year the American did the trick at The Greenbrier. "We were determined to do the job".

The Americans came into Sunday facing a daunting 10-6 deficit, and there was a glimmer of hope when they closed to within a point midway through the afternoon. "His pace looked a little bit slow walking", USA captain Jim Furyk said.

"I'm sure Patrick is disappointed", Furyk said. "We can play well and nothing can happen".

Rahm won two straight holes with pars to seize control. McIlroy had a bit of his mojo back as he made three birdies in the first eight holes.

And then at the Ryder Cup, it was another result with which he is far too familiar.

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You wouldn't have known any of this was happening if you just watched Woods play this weekend, though. McIlroy acknowledged he "didn't have my best stuff out there this morning, but Sergio was encouraging me". With teammates and coaches looking on, Thomas made a clutch putt for a 2 and 1 win that gave the US a glimmer of hope as it trails Europe, 8-4, going into the later matches Saturday.

Spieth will take on Thorbjorn Olesen in the seventh Singles match while Poulter goes out just beforehand against Dustin Johnson. Spieth is now 0-6 in singles matches in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

Sergio Garcia had returned to the course at dawn to complete his third round.

He played so poorly this year that he failed to qualify for the PGA Tour's postseason. His record in fourballs and foursomes, when he goes out with a partner, is an ugly 9-19-1.

'Experience when you come in with the right attitude produces special things.

"We're really, really, really happy with how it's gone these past two days", Bjorn said.

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