Ryder Cup 2018: Europe thrash U.S. to regain Ryder Cup

Fleetwood tees off during the afternoon session as he helped defeat American pairing Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas

Fleetwood tees off during the afternoon session as he helped defeat American pairing Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas

Europe's golfers have won back the Ryder Cup after beating the United States team at the Golf National course near Paris. Europe entered the final day at Le Golf National with a 10-6 lead and needed 4.5 points out of a possible 12 to reclaim the Cup.

Italian Francesco Molinari, who became the first European player to contribute a maximum five points from his five matches, sealed the victory.

"This team has been incredible from the start, " Molinari said.

"I think early in the week, he looked a little exhausted", US captain Jim Furyk said of Woods. "We can play well and nothing can happen".

"There's always a moment where it looks like a spark of light, " Furyk said.

When Jon Rahm downed Tiger Woods 2&1 on the 17th hole with his fourth birdie of the day, the only question left was who would do the final deed.

With the European celebration engulfing the green, Woods could only take off his cap and wish congratulations to the victors before retreating to spot off to the side with his girlfriend, Erika Hermann, and pats on the shoulder from several European players, including Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.

Woods, who underwent spinal fusion surgery in April 2017 and only returned to action in November, added: "It's disappointing because I went 0-4 and that's four points to the European team".

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Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson were handed captain's picks for the Ryder Cup as much for their value in the team room as out on the course.

World number one Johnson and Fowler notched the first point of the first Ryder Cup to be held in France, 4 and 2 against McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Thomas noted that, "we're not even halfway done with this tournament", and Spieth said the key was to keep the lead to four or fewer, keeping the competition in reach before Sunday's singles matches.

McIlroy and Sergio Garcia led the way.

He played so poorly this year that he failed to qualify for the PGA Tour's postseason.

Team Europe's Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton with Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn during the Fourballs. His record in fourballs and foursomes, when he goes out with a partner, is an ugly 9-19-1.

The reigning Masters champion endured a nightmare round on Saturday, hitting multiple balls into the water, spending much of his time in the rough, and even hitting one tee shot out of bounds and nearly into a spectator shopping area. "That was my first experience of what it feels like to be on the other side, so coming in here, obviously none of us want to feel like Sunday afternoon".

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