Something went wrong!
Please try again later.
Now, this was a blockbuster of sorts. Proud Europe captain Thomas Bjorn said his Ryder Cup winners deserve to be remembered among the greats as his players hailed their “relentless” team ethic in crushing America by seven points.
Jubilant scenes erupted at Le Golf National after the home side secured the silverware comfortably, with both Sergio Garcia and Francesco Molinari setting Ryder Cup records.
As Team Europe promised to party “hard” into the night, Justin Rose hailed their “unbelievable focus” behind the scenes. “What this team did was not drop their guard until this moment right here,” he said as the players held aloft the trophy. “This team was relentless in its pursuit of excellence. We ticked every box we could control all week long, whether it be recovery, nutrition, practice rounds. Our focus was unbelievable this week.”
Bjorn added: “This is the best team room I’ve ever been in. It was calm, it was determined, it was focused and it was fun. The Ryder Cup was everything it should be for a European Team.”
The players swigged champagne after their triumph and joked that Molinari – the first European to score five points out of five – did not know what the 17th hole looked like.
Rory McIlroy said camaraderie had given Europe the edge over America, who appeared downhearted and tired for much of the weekend. McIlroy, who revealed how he had to join WhatsApp this week to keep in touch with the group, said victory was down to the “togetherness of the team”.
“The great camaraderie we have, that’s built upon the European Tour, and obviously we all have our separate lives going on, but once we get together for the Ryder Cup, we all come together as one,” he added.
Rookie Jon Rahm produced a pivotal victory over Tiger Woods and Molinari fittingly secured the winning point – his fifth of the weekend – as Europe regained the Ryder Cup in ultimately comprehensive fashion in Paris.
Afterwards, Rahm said it had been an honour to play with Garcia, who surpassed Nick Faldo’s record Ryder Cup points tally. The home side’s 10-6 overnight lead meant they needed just four and a half points from the 12 singles for a ninth win in the 12 contests staged since the last American win on European soil in 1993.
Ian Poulter took his side to the brink of victory by beating world No 1 Dustin Johnson on the 18th and fittingly it was Molinari who had the honour of officially securing the win, Phil Mickelson conceding after dumping his tee shot into the water on the 16th to suffer a record 22nd defeat.
After four wins alongside Fleetwood, Molinari is the first European player to compile a perfect 5-0 record in the contest, with American Larry Nelson the only other to do so in 1979.