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Europe hold nerve to regain Ryder Cup

Europe hold nerve to regain Ryder Cup
© Reuters
Europe regain the Ryder Cup with victory over USA, with Tommy Fleetwood sealing the win with four singles matches still out on the course.

Europe have regained the Ryder Cup with a 16.5-11.5 victory over USA, with Tommy Fleetwood sealing the win with four singles matches still out on the course.

Luke Donald's side went into the final day at The Marco Simone & Country Club in Rome with a 10.5-5.5 advantage, requiring just four points to get their hands back on the trophy that they tamely succumbed at Whistling Straits two years ago.

USA battled hard on Sunday - unlike on certain occasions across the three days - but Fleetwood's birdie on the driveable Par-4 16 ensured that Europe would retain their three-decade-long unbeaten streak on home turf.

Viktor Hovland delivered the first point of the day for Europe, establishing a three-shot lead over Collin Morikawa after six holes and eventually sealing a 4&3 victory.

Jon Rahm then backed that up with half a point, although it felt like a win with Scottie Scheffler taking holes 14 and 15 to hold a lead into the final hole.

However, Rahm played it majestically, almost holing a 75-foot putt for eagle to force Scheffler to try to hole a chip, one that he missed to leave Europe just 2.5 points away.

USA responded through Patrick Cantlay, with the American taking three of the first 11 holes before withstanding a fighting from Justin Rose to claim a 2&1 triumph.

Moments later, Rory McIlroy moved Europe into a 13-7 lead courtesy of a 3&1 win over Sam Burns, with the Northern Irishman taking six of the first 11 holes and remaining in control down the stretch.

That became 14-7 when Tyrrell Hatton confirmed victory over Brian Harman, winning three of the first four holes and successfully defending that advantage to secure a 3&2 success.

Brooks Koepka completed a dominant win over Ludvig Aberg, coming through by a 3&2 scoreline, but all the attention was on the 18th green as Matt Fitzpatrick had the chance to win the Ryder Cup for Europe.

The 2022 US Open champion sent his 10-foot putt past the hole, though, and it allowed Max Homa to convert a shorter effort to win 1UP.

American Xander Schauffele reduced the deficit to 14-10, coming from two holes down during the early stages against Nicolai Hojgaard to prevail by a 3&2 scoreline.

The remaining matches on the course were tight, keeping USA in with the smallest of chances of pulling off their own miracle comeback like Europe achieved in Medinah in 2012.

Nevertheless, after Rickie Fowler drove his tee shot into the water on 16, Fleetwood capitalised to find the green and make a three, leaving him 2UP with two to play.

Fleetwood took the 17th, too, to win 3&1, moments after Justin Thomas had held on to defeat Sepp Straka 2UP down the 18th hole.

Rookie Robert MacIntyre got the 2&1 win over Wyndham Clark in the last match, while Shane Lowry and Jordan Spieth finished all-square on a fan-filled 18th as they fittingly completed their match with the green surrounding by supporters of each team.

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USA's Patrick Cantlay celebrates a win at the Ryder Cup on September 30, 2023.
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