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Sunday, September 26, 1999 Published at 23:09 GMT 00:09 UK


Americans win Ryder Cup

Jubilant US Ryder Cup players and wives surround Justin Leonard

Final score: USA 14½-13½ Europe

America won the Ryder Cup in amazing fashion, after Europe were blown off the Brookline course by one of the finest fightbacks in the history of the competition.


The BBC's Tony Adamson describes the moment when Jose Maria Olazabal's miss on the 17th hole gave the US the Ryder Cup
Ben Crenshaw's team, who went into the final day's singles 10-6 behind, won eight-and-a-half of the 12 points on offer to snatch the trophy from European hands for the first time since 1993.

The decisive moment on an epic day came when Jose Maria Olazabal missed a 20-foot putt at the 17th.

It ensured his opponent Justin Leonard would claim at least a half-point - and took the US into a winning position.

Victory in one of international sport's greatest competitions sparked exuberant celebrations among an American-dominated crowd.


The BBC's Tony Adamson gives a summary of the results of all the singles matches on the final day's play
But the win was not without controversy. When Leonard holed a 40-foot putt at the 17th, America's players and supporters sprinted onto the green in celebration - disturbing Olazabal, who had yet to play his shot.

Europe's vice-captain Sam Torrance described the behaviour as "disgusting", as tempers began to fray.

Despite the bad feeling between the teams, the Europeans could not begrudge the US their victory, following a remarkable team performance.


[ image: Europe's Mark James and Sam Torrance look resigned to defeat]
Europe's Mark James and Sam Torrance look resigned to defeat
The manner of the American assault was simply astonishing, as they laid waste to a previously upbeat European team who had dominated the first two days in Boston.

Many of Europe's finest players, including Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Jesper Parnevik, slumped to humbling defeats as the US racked up point after point.

Only Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie and Colin Montgomerie were able to produce victories for the European team.

The damage was done early on.

Facing a four-point defecit and the prospect of losing the biennial competition for the third time in a row, the US team desperately needed to get off to a flying start in the singles.


[ image: Phil Mickelson feels the pressure as the US close in on victory]
Phil Mickelson feels the pressure as the US close in on victory
And they did so as senior players like Tom Lehman, Hal Sutton and Phil Mickelson seized control of the opening matches.

The home team took an immediate stranglehold on the first six contests - and went on to win them all.

So alarming was the decline in the European effort that it brought captain Mark James' conservative selection policy into question.

Europe's leading players looked exhausted after being asked to perform heroics in every match on the first two days.

The three rookies who had been left out of the pairings - Andrew Coltart, Jean Van de Velde and Jarmo Sandelin - all made belated debuts on the last day.


[ image: A demoralised Darren Clarke sees another putt roll past the hole]
A demoralised Darren Clarke sees another putt roll past the hole
But all three struggled to come to terms with the course and the peculiar demands of the competition - and they all slumped to defeat.

The US effort was a true team affair - but the ultimate glory was claimed by Leonard, who pulled off an amazing individual victory.

He had been four-down to Olazabal, but holed a string of huge putts - including a 40-footer for victory at the 17th to break the European challenge.

Collated Ryder Cup results (USA first):

Sunday's concluding singles
Tom Lehman bt Lee Westwood 3&2
Hal Sutton bt Darren Clarke 4&2
Phil Mickelson bt Jarmo Sandelin 5&3
Davis Love bt Jean Van de Velde 6&5
Tiger Woods bt Andrew Coltart 3&2
David Duval bt Jesper Parnevik 5&4
Mark O'Meara lost to Padraig Harrington 1 hole
Steve Pate bt Miguel Angel Jimenez 2&1
Justin Leonard v Jose Maria Olazabal - match halved
Payne Stewart lost to Colin Montgomerie 1 hole
Jim Furyk bt Sergio Garcia 4&3
Jeff Maggert lost to Paul Lawrie 4&3

Saturday's fourballs:
P Mickelson and T Lehman bt D Clarke and L Westwood 2&1
D Love and D Duval v J Parnevik and S Garcia - match halved
J Leonard and Hal Sutton v MA Jimenez and JM Olazabal - match halved
S Pate and T Woods lost to C Montgomerie and P Lawrie 2&1

Saturday's foursomes:
H Sutton and J Maggert bt C Montgomerie and P Lawrie 1 hole
J Furyk and M O'Meara lost to D Clarke and L Westwood 3&2
P Stewart and J Leonard lost to J Parnevik and S Garcia 3&2
T Woods and S Pate bt MA Jimenez and P Harrington 1 hole

Friday's fourballs:
Duval and Woods lost to Westwood and Clarke 1 hole
Sutton and Maggert lost to Jimenez and JM Olazabal 2 and 1
Love and J Leonard v Montgomerie and Lawrie - match halved
Mickelson and J Furyk lost to Parnevik and Garcia 1 hole

Friday's foursomes:
D Love and P Stewart v MA Jimenez and P Harrington - match halved
J Maggert and H Sutton bt L Westwood and D Clarke 3&2
T Lehman and T Woods lost to S Garcia and J Parnevik 2&1
D Duval and P Mickelson lost to C Montgomerie and P Lawrie 3&2





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