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Europe stuns U.S. to keep the Ryder Cup

5:17 AM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
Ian Poulter (L) Justin Rose celebrate after Europe defeated the USA 14.5 to 13.5 to retain the Ryder Cup during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club. (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES)
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MEDINAH, IL - Europe equaled the largest comeback in history on Sunday, overcoming a 4-point deficit, to win the Ryder Cup.

Europe won a 8 1/2 out of 12 points on Sunday and won the Cup outright at Medinah, when it looked like the U.S. would win this in a walk.

Martin Kaymer, who didn't even play on Saturday, defeated Steve Stricker, 1-up to guarantee the Ryder Cup stayed with Europe. Stricker missed a 7-foot par save at 17 and needed to win the 18th to give the Americans any chance.

He made a gutsy 8-footer to save par at the last, but when Kaymer's 6-footer fell, the comeback was complete and Europe matched the 1999 U.S. team at Brookline for the largest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history.

The difference between the two comebacks was the U.S. was on home soil for it's Sunday miracle 13 years ago.

Europe pulled this off on the road.

Tiger Woods went 1-up with a win on the 17th over Francesco Molinari in the anchor match, but it didn't end up mattering. Once Stricker fell to Kaymer, Europe kept the Cup, but it got a victory when Woods missed a 4-foot par save at the last to halve his match with the Italian.

Down 10-6 at the start of the singles, Europe front-loaded its lineup and the stars produced.

Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Paul Lawrie won the first five matches on Sunday. Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Kaymer added the other points and that was enough for Europe.

Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner were the only winners for the U.S. on Sunday.

The story of Sunday came down to the last two holes. Europe went 10-2, excluding halves, on 17 and 18 at Medinah and that swung several key points for their side.

Poulter, Rose and Garcia all won both 17 and 18. For Rose and Garcia, against Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, respectively, those wins turned 1-down deficits on the 17th tee, into 1-up wins.

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