USA 14½-13½ EUROPE, Brookline CC, Massachusetts
Leonard's putt sparked controversial celebrations
For the third successive meeting, a single point decided the Ryder Cup.
Europe were aiming for a hat-trick of wins, but were ultimately undone by some phenomenal performances by the Americans in the singles.
It was another contest packed with great drama, high emotion and superlative golf.
The Europeans enjoyed a great first day. Jesper Parnevik and Sergio Garcia were dominant, winning both their first day contests as Europe claimed five of the eight matches and surged to a 6-2 lead.
Honours were shared on the second day with four points each.
The imperious Tiger Woods enjoyed mixed fortunes with partner Steve Pate; they won their morning foursome but struggled against in-form Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie in the afternoon's fourballs.
Going into the final day, Europe needed just four points from the 12 singles matches.
Captain Mark James was in confident mood as he prepared for the final day's play, but his hopes were soon shattered.
America thrashed their opponents, comfortably winning the opening six games. Irish rookie Padraig Harrington stopped the rot after overcoming the 1998 Masters and Open champion Mark O'Meara to win by one hole.
European hopes eventually rested on the experienced Jose-Maria Olazabal, who was involved in a monumental struggle with Justin Leonard.
The Spaniard was four up with seven to play, but fortunes quickly turned and only a magnificent birdie on the final hole ensured Olazabal claimed a half.
It was too little too late and the manner of defeat left a sour taste for the Europeans.
They were deeply unhappy with the American team's celebrations after Leonard's putt on the 17th all but ensured victory for the hosts.
The row rumbled on, with many questioning whether the spirit of Ryder Cup matches would ever be the same again.
D Duval & P Mickelson lost to C Montgomerie & P Lawrie (3&2)
T Lehman & T Woods lost to J Parnevik & S Garcia (2&1)
D Love & P Stewart halved with M A Jimenez & P Harrington
H Sutton & J Maggert beat D Clarke & L Westwood (3&2)
D Love & J Leonard halved with C Montgomerie & P Lawrie
P Mickelson & J Furyk lost to J Parnevik & S Garcia (1 hole)
H Sutton & J Maggert lost to M A Jimenez & J M Olazabal (2&1)
D Duval & T Woods lost to D Clarke & L Westwood (1 hole)
H Sutton & J Maggert beat C Montgomerie & P Lawrie (1 hole)
J Furyk & M O'Meara lost to D Clarke & L Westwood (3&2)
S Pate & T Woods beat M A Jimenez & P Harrington (1 hole)
P Stewart & J Leonard lost to J Parnevik & S Garcia (3&2)
P Mickelson & T Lehman beat D Clarke & L Westwood (2&1)
D Love & D Duval halved with J Parnevik & S Garcia
J Leonard & H Sutton halved with M A Jimenez & J M Olazabal
S Pate & T Woods lost to C Montgomerie & P Lawrie (2&1)
T Lehman beat L Westwood (3&2)
H Sutton beat D Clarke (4&2)
P Mickelson beat J Sandelin (4&3)
D Love beat J VD Velde (6&5)
T Woods beat A Coltart (3&2)
D Duval beat J Parnevik (5&4)
M O'Meara lost to P Harrington (1 hole)
S Pate beat M A Jimenez (2&1)
J Leonard halved with J M Olazabal
P Stewart lost to C Montgomerie (1 hole)
J Furyk beat S Garcia (4&3)
J Maggert lost to P Lawrie (4&3)