How Sunday's singles session unfolded: Europe hold off U.S. fightback to win Ryder Cup
Europe regained the Ryder Cup after holding off an impressive fightback from the U.S. Team to secure a stunning 16½-11½ win at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.
Here is a look at how Sunday's singles session unfolded and what the players said.
Jon Rahm ties with Scottie Scheffler
Spaniard Rahm holed his birdie putt from 15 feet at the first to take an early lead but saw that advantage evaporate as World Number One Scheffler won the third with a par. Rahm bounced back with wins at the fourth and fifth, only for Scheffler to win three of the next six holes without reply to take the lead. Rahm turned things around in pretty quick time, however, as he birdied the par-five 12th and then hit it so close at the short 13th that his putt was conceded. A topsy-turvy match took another turn as Scheffler birdied the 14th and 15th to go 1 UP but Rahm saved his best for last, rolling a wonderfully-weighted putt the whole length of the 18th green to the side of the hole to guarantee a birdie and tie the match.
I told myself I wasn't going to look. It's hard not to see the scoreboards. I'm sitting looking at my putt and the scoreboards are right in my way. So it's hard not to catch yourself lingering. But I think I did a really good job at the end. Seeing those scores, refocused at the task at hand. Played good at the end. Too bad it wasn't good enough to win but I'll take a half.
Viktor Hovland wins 4&3 against Collin Morikawa
Hovland raced into a three-hole lead after six before a par at the eighth saw Morikawa win his first hole of the day to cut the deficit to two. The Norwegian birdied the 11th and 12th to go four clear but found trouble off the 14th tee and dropped back to 3 UP after Morikawa holed a long birdie putt across the green. The contest was over at the 15th, though, as Hovland's par won the hole and the match.
That was awesome. It was nice to put up the first point for Europe. I think we are all just trying to take care of our business. You know, every single match feels like a sprint but it's still 18 holes.
Patrick Cantlay wins 2&1 against Justin Rose
Cantlay wasted little time in moving ahead, birdieing the second from 25 feet before winning the seventh with a par to go 2 UP. The American stretched his lead to three by making a birdie at the 11th but Rose hit back, winning successive holes with birdies on the 12th and 13th to get within one. Cantlay managed to win the next, though, to move two ahead once more. But Rose was not finished yet, celebrating wildly after a birdie at the 15th cut Cantlay’s lead to one before nervelessly holing an 18-footer to tie the next hole and keep alive his chances of winning the match. But Cantlay got over the line as he birdied the 17th to put the match out of Rose's reach.
Europe have played great all week and they have the home-crowd advantage going for them. So it's exactly what I expected and how it should be. This event is all about that. I knew we needed the hot start. I tried to get some red on the board early and for the most part I did. Rosey played a good match, made a lot of birdies on that back nine.
Rory McIlroy wins 3&1 against Sam Burns
After winning the first with a par, McIlroy's first birdie of the day at the third sent him 2 UP before Burns birdied the short fourth to peg the Northern Irishman back. McIlroy regained his two-hole advantage after getting up and down from the back right of the fifth with an exquisite chip to set up another birdie before sending his tee-shot at the par-three seventh to five feet and rolling in the putt to go 3 UP. Burns showed that the match was far from over as he won the ninth with an eagle but McIlroy’s serene progress continued as he went four clear with wins at the tenth and 11th. Burns threatened a spectacular comeback as he won the 13th and 16th with birdies but McIlroy’s birdie on the 17th ended the match and put Europe 13-7 up. McIlroy’s singles victory ensured he won four matches in the biennial contest for the first time in his illustrious Ryder Cup career.
It means an awful lot. I was so disappointed after Whistling Straits, we all were, and we wanted to come here to Rome this year and redeem ourselves a bit. We've got some fresh blood on the team that I think has worked really, really well. I just knew that I needed to put in a better performance for my team-mates this week and thankfully I was able to do that.
Max Homa wins 1 UP against Matt Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick's birdie at the first saw him take an early lead but the in-form Homa pulled level with a birdie of his own on the short fourth. Englishman Fitzpatrick eagled from 15 feet at the fifth to edge back ahead before American Homa won three holes in a row from the eighth to turn the match on its head and go 2 UP. Fitzpatrick's par was good enough to win the 11th and close the gap to one. But even though he took the match to the 18th - where he missed an 18-footer to clinch the trophy - the European was unable to win another hole as Homa celebrated a vital point for the U.S. Team.
All of a sudden I realised that with two holes left if Matt could get a half out of me, then it's over. That (putt on 18) was an out-of-body experience. I wanted that opportunity. I missed it against Rosey and I wanted the chance again. So I just told myself this is what you asked for, so here's an opportunity.
Tyrrell Hatton wins 3&2 against Brian Harman
Hatton showed he meant business as he won three of the first four holes to open up a commanding lead. But Harman roared back, taking the fifth and ninth with birdies to reduce Hatton's advantage to one at the turn. Hatton won the 11th with a birdie three before taking advantage of the short 13th to move three ahead once more. Harman pegged him back again as he won the 15th but Hatton splashed out of a bunker to within a couple of feet for birdie on the 16th - and when Harman could not follow him in from 12 feet, Europe had 14 points and were within half-a-point of victory.
It's relief to be honest. Obviously I lost my last two singles in previous Ryder Cups. I really wanted to win the point today. That felt amazing and you saw my reaction there when the match finished. It's so hard to win one point. I played some alright golf in the previous two and you could argue that my record doesn't look great. To be 3½ out of four this week, I'm over the moon. Ultimately the main goal is for Europe to win the Ryder Cup back.
Brooks Koepka wins 3&2 against Ludvig Åberg
Koepka built a three-hole lead on the front nine as he won the first, sixth and eighth without reply. Swede Åberg made his mark with an eagle at the ninth to win the hole but a Koepka birdie on the 11th restored his three-hole lead. Åberg gave Europe hope as he won the 12th but Koepka, who was bogey-free all day, birdied the 13th to go 3 UP once more before a pair of pars ended the contest at the 16th hole.
I played really good, pleased with the way I played. I would have liked to have made a few more putts but Ludvig is a good player. I watched him yesterday and today, so he's solid. He's going to be around for a long time. There's got to be a winner and there's got to be a loser. So it happens. All you can do is just give it your all and see where it takes you.
Justin Thomas wins 2 UP against Sepp Straka
Thomas looked comfortable on the front nine as he won the third and fifth with birdies to go 2 UP. But Straka got within one with a 14-foot birdie on the 11th to give himself a chance of securing the half-point Europe needed. Thomas won the very next hole, though, and although Straka provided a moment of magic with a chip-in to take the 16th and narrow the gap again, Thomas birdied the last to wrap up the point.
It's a very, very busy, long week with very different routines and schedules that you would have in a normal week, and this week, the loss that we had this week has absolutely nothing to do with team camaraderie because this is probably the closest team I've ever been a part of.
Xander Schauffele wins 3&2 against Nicolai Højgaard
Højgaard's early two-hole lead went up in smoke as Schauffele won the fifth, sixth and seventh to go 1 UP. But the match was level at the turn after the Dane took the eighth with a par. Schauffele birdied the tenth and 12th to move two clear for the first time before Højgaard halved his deficit by winning the 14th. But Schauffele put the result beyond doubt as he won the next two holes to seal the point and make the European fans start to sweat a bit.
I figured I can only control my match and hope that if I could put some red up on the board, it will motivate the guys to push. Not that we need it. So just happy to get a point.
Shane Lowry ties with Jordan Spieth
Lowry looked to be in big trouble when he fell three down after five, but the Irishman fought back to level things up by the 14th. And despite losing the 15th, he won the next two holes to guarantee half a point - shortly after Tommy Fleetwood had done the same thing in his match to unofficially win the Ryder Cup back - only to lose the last for a tied match.
This is a dream come true for me and this is something that I've always wanted to achieve in this game. We didn't get much going for us in Whistling Straits but I'm so proud of my team. It's been the greatest week of my life. Me, Tommy and Bob joked this morning, hopefully it doesn't come down to us, and it did, and thankfully Tommy did the business and the rest was just celebration.
Tommy Fleetwood wins 3&1 against Rickie Fowler
Fleetwood was facing off against Rickie Fowler in his Sunday singles match, and by the time they reached the par-4 16th, Europe led 14-10 and only needed a half-point to win the cup.
After twice seeing his one-hole lead cancelled out on the front nine, the Englishman moved two clear but could not shake Fowler off until the American sliced his tee-shot on the 16th into the water. The Englishman rolled his putt to around three feet to guarantee a par to go 2 UP, guaranteeing the crucial half-point for victory. He then followed it with a dart to just a few feet 17th, Fowler conceding to secure his match win and Europe's victory in the Ryder Cup.
"I was really in control of the match," Fleetwood said afterward. "Just the occasion was very, very big. Rickie let me off. You never really want to see someone hit in the water, so I was not particularly pleased about that. But I still have to step up and hit. There's no point in me bailing out with the tee shot there, he could still make four, and he probably was still going to make four.
We have an amazing group of people. We always do. This year has obviously been different and the landscape has changed a little bit for Team Europe. I couldn't wish for a better bunch of people to do this with. It's honestly been so amazing and everybody is so great. We are just one gigantic family, and the bonds we made with everybody will last a lifetime and just to be part of it is a cool experience.
Robert MacIntyre wins 2&1 against Wyndham Clark
Anchoring the last match, MacIntyre provided plenty of fireworks against the U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark. The Scottish Rookie was 3 UP after just five holes, but Clark fought back to get level after 14 holes.
He then held firm against a struggling Clark, who followed a bogey at the par four 15th with two shots into the water at 16. That putt MacIntyre back in control at 2 UP, which to win the next two in a row with a struggling Clark, which he wrapped up with a two-putt par at the 17th to round off an unbeaten debut.
It's incredible. This is what I dreamed of as a kid. I thankfully got a team that was absolutely deadly. Some of the boys on that team are the best in the world for a reason and are going to go down in the books as some of the best ever. I'm just glad I'm on that team and so proud. What a party it's going to be tonight.