Team Europe has reclaimed the coveted Ryder Cup in spectacular fashion, unseating Team USA and igniting exuberant celebrations. The winning moment was savoured by Tommy Fleetwood as Europe clinched a 16.5-11.5 victory, despite a spirited American singles charge.
The United States team has been unable to secure a win on European soil since 1993, while neither side has been able to capture the trophy away from their respective homes for 11 years. With Europe needing just half a point to secure victory, Fleetwood took charge, going 2-up against Rickie Fowler with two holes to play, thanks in part to Fowler's tee shot landing in the water on the short par-four 16th hole. Fleetwood then expertly guided his eagle putt to the hole's edge, sealing Europe's seventh consecutive home victory, ultimately winning his match 3 and 1.
In the aftermath of the triumph, Fleetwood expressed his emotions, saying, "I think relief, pride, joy. Proud of everybody that’s been involved this week and just proud that I’m one of the people that gets to play a role in what we came here to do."
US captain Zach Johnson graciously took responsibility for the loss, acknowledging, "The defeat is on me; I made some poor decisions, and I will reflect. Those 12 guys played so hard and fought for our country."
Noteworthy contributions came from Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, who secured early victories in the sunny atmosphere of Rome. Jon Rahm also played a pivotal role by snatching a half-point in a thrilling contest against Scottie Scheffler that concluded on the 18th green.
Luke Donald's European team began the day four points away from reclaiming the trophy they had lost in a crushing 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits two years prior. The competition witnessed an initial surge by the USA, momentarily leading in seven matches and drawing in the other. However, Europe regrouped, resulting in a 6-6 tie in the singles session.
The Americans had aimed to stage a historic Sunday comeback, having trailed 10.5-5.5 at the start of the day. Yet, they were unable to recover from being swept 4-0 in the opening foursomes on Friday, dashing hopes of a sustained period of dominance following their resounding 2021 victory.
The jubilation spilled onto the 18th green as the final match between Shane Lowry and Jordan Spieth ended in a halved result, with Lowry receiving enthusiastic hugs from several teammates. The celebrations continued on Europe’s team bus, where McIlroy and Shane Lowry led the rendition of the iconic tune "Freed from Desire," with adapted lyrics celebrating Europe's triumph.