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updated: 9/30/2012 5:29 PM

Europe retains Ryder Cup in improbable finish

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  • Europe's Martin Kaymer reacts after winning his match on the 18th hole to clinch a Europe win Sunday at the Ryder Cup.

      Europe's Martin Kaymer reacts after winning his match on the 18th hole to clinch a Europe win Sunday at the Ryder Cup.
    Associated Press

  • Rory McIlroy, who won his singles match against Keegan Bradley at Medinah on Sunday, pumps his fist after making birdie on No. 6.

       Rory McIlroy, who won his singles match against Keegan Bradley at Medinah on Sunday, pumps his fist after making birdie on No. 6.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Europe's Luke Donald reacts after hitting out of a bunker on the 17th hole at Medinah Country Club Sunday. The hole gave Donald a win in the Ryder Cup match over USA's Bubba Watson.

      Europe's Luke Donald reacts after hitting out of a bunker on the 17th hole at Medinah Country Club Sunday. The hole gave Donald a win in the Ryder Cup match over USA's Bubba Watson.
    Associated Press

  • Fans for both the US and European teams were out in force at the first tee Sunday during the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.

       Fans for both the US and European teams were out in force at the first tee Sunday during the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.
    Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

  • Europe's Rory McIlroy, right, shakes hands with USA's Keegan Bradley before a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday.

      Europe's Rory McIlroy, right, shakes hands with USA's Keegan Bradley before a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday.
    Associated Press

 
By Nancy Armour
Associated Press

Europe has retained the Ryder Cup, completing an improbable comeback from a 4-point deficit.

Martin Kaymer delivered the crucial 14th point with a 1-up victory over Steve Stricker. When Kaymer rolled in the 6-foot putt to clinch the match Sunday, he threw up his arms in triumph and shook his fists. His teammates, surrounding the green, roared and grabbed anyone within reach for a hug. European captain Jose Maria Olazabal, watching from the middle of the fairway, closed his eyes and looked skyward.

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Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari were still on the course, but the cup goes to the defending champions if the teams finish in a tie.

It was a shocking finish for the Americans, who were poised to win the Ryder Cup for only the third time since 1999 after taking a 10-4 lead midway through Saturday afternoon's matches. But the Europeans rallied to win the final two, then built on the lead by winning the first five matches Sunday.

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