2012 Ryder Cup

Martin Kaymer 2012 Ryder Cup
Martin Kaymer exults after sinking the putt that clinched the Ryder Cup for Team Europe in 2012. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

Score: Europe 14.5, USA 13.5
Site: Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois
Captains: Europe - Jose Maria Olazabal; USA - Davis Love III

Team Europe staged one of the great comebacks in Ryder Cup history to eke out a 1-point victory over Team USA.

The American side dominated the first two days of play, building a 10-6 lead in the doubles (foursomes and fourball) matches. Phil Mickelson and USA rookie Keegan Bradley led the way, going 3-0 together as a partnership.

The only real disappointment during the first two days for Team USA was the play of Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, who partnered one another three times and lost all three matches.

However, Europe did gain two crucial points in the final two matches of Day 2. They were trailing 10-4, but those two points made the score 10-6 in favor of the USA going into Sunday singles. That 10-6 score was significant, because that's the same score by which the USA trailed before staging its historic comeback at the 1999 Ryder Cup. The European players appeared to have their spirits buoyed by those final two fourball wins (the winning teams for the Euros were Sergio Garcia/Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy/Ian Poulter).

Europe needed a blazing fast start in singles play, and it got it: In the first five games of Day 3, Donald, Poulter, McIlroy, Justin Rose and Paul Lawrie all won. Poulter earned his hard-fought victory over Webb Simpson over the final few holes.

And Rose came from 1-down to Mickelson to a 1-up victory over the final three holes by making great putts on each of those holes - including a long birdie bomb on the 17th hole.

Europe entered Sunday needing 8 of the 12 available singles points to halve the match and retain the cup - and wound up winning 8.5 of those points for the outright.

That matched the American comeback from 1999. But the 1999 USA team staged its comeback on home turf; Europe's rally took place in front of a hostile crowd at Medinah Country Club in Chicago.

Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner posted the only singles wins for Team USA. Sergio Garcia was another Euro player who turned his match around late, winning the final hole to beat Jim Furyk. And Martin Kaymer won it for Europe by winning the 17th hole against Stricker to go 1-up in the 11th game, then sinking a testy par putt on the final green.

For Europe, it was the team's fifth win in the past six Ryder Cups, and its seventh in the past nine.

Poulter led Europe with a perfect 4-0-0 record; Rose and McDowell added three points each. Dustin Johnson was unbeaten for the USA (3-0-0), but Woods and Stricker combined to go 0-7-1.

Team Rosters:

• Europe - Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Sergio Garcia, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Nicolas Colsaerts
• USA - Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker

Day 1 Results:

• Rory McIlroy/Graeme McDowell, Europe, def. Jim Furyk/Brandt Snedeker, USA, 1-up
• Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley, USA, def. Luke Donald/Sergio Garcia, 4 and 3
• Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson, USA, def. Lee Westwood/Francesco Molinari, Europe, 3 and 2
• Ian Poulter/Justin Rose, Europe, def. Steve Stricker/Tiger Woods, USA, 2 and 1

• Webb Simpson/Bubba Watson, USA, def. Paul Lawrie/Peter Hanson, Europe, 5 and 4
• Keegan Bradley/Phil Mickelson, USA, def. Rory McIlroy/Graeme McDowell, Europe, 2 and 1
• Lee Westwood/Nicolas Colsaerts, Europe, def. Tiger Woods/Steve Stricker, USA, 1-up
• Matt Kuchar/Dustin Johnson, USA, def. Martin Kaymer/Justin Rose, Europe, 3 and 2

Day 2 Results:

• Justin Rose/Ian Poulter, Europe, def. Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson, USA, 1-up
• Keegan Bradley/Phil Mickelson, USA, def.

Lee Westwood/Luke Donald, Europe, 7 and 6
• Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson, USA, def. Nicolas Colsaerts/Sergio Garcia, Europe, 2 and 1
• Jim Furyk/Brandt Snedeker, USA, def. Rory McIlroy/Graeme McDowell, Europe, 1-up

• Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar, USA, def. Nicolas Colsaerts/Paul Lawrie, Europe, 1-up
• Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson, USA, def. Justin Rose/Francesco Molinari, Europe, 5 and 4
• Sergio Garcia/Luke Donald, Europe, def. Tiger Woods/Steve Stricker, USA, 1-up
• Rory McIlroy/Ian Poulter, Europe, def. Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson, USA, 1-up

Day 3 Results:

• Luke Donald, Europe, def. Bubba Watson, USA, 2 and 1
• Ian Poulter, Europe, def. Webb Simpson, 1-up
• Rory McIlroy, Europe, def. Keegan Bradley, USA, 2 and 1
• Justin Rose, Europe, def. Phil Mickelson, USA, 1-up
• Paul Lawrie, Europe, def. Brandt Snedeker, USA, 5 and 3
• Dustin Johnson, USA, def. Nicolas Colsaerts, Europe, 3 and 2
• Zach Johnson, USA, def. Graeme McDowell, Europe, 2 and 1
• Sergio Garcia, Europe, def. Jim Furyk, USA, 1-up
• Jason Dufner, USA, def. Peter Hanson, Europe, 2-up
• Lee Westwood, Europe, def. Matt Kuchar, USA, 3 and 2
• Martin Kaymer, Europe, def. Steve Stricker, USA, 1-up
• Francesco Molinari, Europe, halved with Tiger Woods, USA

Player Records (wins-losses-halves)

Rory McIlroy, 3-2-0
Luke Donald, 2-2-0
Lee Westwood, 2-2-0
Justin Rose, 3-2-0
Graeme McDowell, 1-3-0
Paul Lawrie, 1-2-0
Francesco Molinari, 0-2-1
Sergio Garcia, 2-2-0
Peter Hanson, 0-2-0
Martin Kaymer, 1-1-0
Ian Poulter, 4-0-0
Nicolas Colsaerts, 1-3-0

Tiger Woods, 0-3-1
Bubba Watson, 2-2-0
Jason Dufner, 3-1-0
Keegan Bradley, 3-1-0
Webb Simpson, 2-2-0
Zach Johnson, 3-1-0
Matt Kuchar, 2-1-0
Phil Mickelson, 3-1-0
Jim Furyk, 1-2-0
Steve Stricker, 0-4-0
Dustin Johnson, 3-0-0
Brandt Snedeker, 1-2-0

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