Emotional McIlroy eyes 'many more' Ryder Cups
A tearful Rory McIlroy insisted there was "no greater privilege" than to play in the Ryder Cup for Europe and immediately set his sights on winning the trophy back after a 19-9 defeat to the United States.
The Northern Irishman led Europe out for the third Ryder Cup singles session in a row, in a week where he had lost three matches and been dropped for a session for the first time since making his Ryder Cup debut in 2010.
But as he has so many times, the four time Major Champion delivered with a 3 &2 victory over Xander Schauffele, although it was not enough to spark what would have been a record comeback from 11-5 down.
The 32-year-old now has 14 points from his six Ryder Cup appearances, and was happy to admit his opinion had vastly changed of an event he declared in 2009 was "not a huge goal of mine" and "an exhibition at the end of the day".
"I'm incredibly proud to be a part of this team, to be a teammate of all these guys, the Captain, the Vice Captains," he said. "We've had a great time.
"I've been extremely disappointed that I haven't contributed for more the team. I'm glad I got a point on the board today for them.
I don't think there's any greater privilege to be a part of one of these teams, European or American. It's an absolute privilege
"It's been a tough week. And the more and more I play in this event, I realise that it's the best event in golf, bar none. I love being a part of it. I can't wait to be a part of many more. It's the best.
"I don't think there's any greater privilege (than) to be a part of one of these teams, European or American. It's an absolute privilege.
"I've gotten to do this six times. They have always been my greatest experiences of my career. I have never really cried or got emotional over what I've done as an individual. But this team and what it feels like to be a part of...
"To see Sergio (Garcia) break records, to see Jon Rahm come into his own this week, to see one of my best friends, Shane Lowry, make his Ryder Cup debut - all that, it's phenomenal and I'm so happy to be a part of it.
"I've said naïve and stupid things in the past but this is by far the biggest tournament that we have in golf. You look at the crowds. You look at what it means, it's the best.
"I can't wait to be a part of many, many more Ryder Cups and be teammates with some of these great guys and try to win many more."