COLIN MONTGOMERIE’S Europe squad has snatched the 2010 Ryder Cup in a scintillating victory over the US in Wales.
In the end it all came down to a crucial birdie putt on the 16th by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell that helped him defeat world number 16 Hunter Mahan.
The US Open winner held is nerve to hang on and win 3&1 and secure the 14 ½ to 13 ½ win for Europe amid raucous and joyous scenes at Celtic Manor.
“Graeme McDowell was put there for a good reason,” an elated Montgomerie said. “He’s full of confidence, and that showed. That birdie on 16 was just quite unbelievable, quite unbelievable.”
The victory, on the first Monday finish in the history of the competition, avenged Europe’s defeat to the Americans at Valhalla two years ago.
The Europeans were always in the box seat after a powerful third session performance but a gutsy US fightback took it down to the wire.
“I’m very proud. It’s a very proud moment for us all here in Europe,” captain Montgomerie said.
“They all played, to a man, magnificently. They all gave 110 percent and that’s all you can ask.
“All credit to the American team. You played magnificently today. The three-point deficit [at the start of Monday play] was the reason why we won.”
US captain Corey Pavin was proud of his team’s performance.
“I was very proud of how hard they fought all week,” he said. “We would win as a team and lose as a team. That’s the way it was and the way it is. I’m proud of every single one of them and their caddies and everybody that’s part of Team USA.”