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Europe wins back Ryder Cup

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SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France—Europe waited two long years for that one moment when the Ryder Cup was back in its hands.

Exactly when it happened yesterday was unclear, making it all the better.

At roughly the same time, in two singles matches on two greens at Le Golf National separated by 150 yards of water, Francesco Molinari and Sergio Garcia each made par to secure at least a half-point—either one giving Europe the 14.5 points it needed to reclaim the Ryder Cup from the Americans.

As the celebration was just getting started, Molinari capped off the first 5-0 week at the Ryder Cup for a European.

Three of those points came at the expense of Tiger Woods, who left France without contributing a point.

Molinari won his singles match against Phil Mickelson yesterday, officially putting the winning point on the board for Europe and putting Mickelson in the record book for the most losses in Ryder Cup history.

Garcia then won his match to set the record for the most career points in Ryder Cup history.

It was like that all week. Europe produced stars old and new with a team that was as strong as ever.

“We got it right this week,” European captain Thomas Bjorn said.

“We never, ever looked toward their team about what they were about," he noted. ”We were about us as a team and what we do. . . .

“Everything that this Ryder Cup was is what I think the Ryder Cup should be about for a European team.”

The final shot came from Alex Noren, who after conceding a short birdie putt to Bryson DeChambeau on the 18th hole, made a 40-foot birdie putt to win the match.

That made it 17.5-10.5—the biggest Ryder Cup rout in 12 years.

Two years after the Americans thought they had their Ryder Cup problems figured out, Europe reminded them yesterday which team practically has owned that shiny gold trophy for the last quarter-century.

Europe now has won nine of the last 12. The Americans remain winless away from home since 1993.

And there wasn't much U.S. captain Jim Furyk could do about it.

“They played some great golf this week and I take my cap off," Furyk said. ”Thomas was a better captain and their team outplayed us.

“And there's nothing else more you can say. They deserved to win.”

It was the most lopsided victory since consecutive 18.5-9.5 victories by Europe more than a decade ago when the Americans looked utterly lost.

They formed a Ryder Cup Task Force after the 2014 loss. The idea was to build continuity and momentum, and it seemed to work when the Americans won at Hazeltine in 2016.

Now maybe it's back to the drawing board.

“Let's be honest—the European side played some exquisite golf,” Mickelson said.

The same couldn't be said for Mickelson or Woods, two giants of their generation, both with losing records in the Ryder Cup.

Mickelson didn't even play on Saturday and lost his matches on Friday and Sunday.

He started the week by setting a record with his 12th appearance in the Ryder Cup and it ended with 22 losses—a record by either side.

At 48, he might not get another chance.

“I did not play well this year," Mickelson conceded. "This could very well, realistically, be my last one.”

Woods was 0-4, the first time in eight Ryder Cups that he failed to contribute a single point.

This was one week after he capped a personal comeback following four back surgeries by winning the Tour Championship—the 80th of his PGA Tour career and first in more than five years.

But he looked like he lacked energy on the course and certainly in his speech over the last two days.

“It's disappointing because I went 0-4, and that's four points to the European team,” Woods said.

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