United States captain Corey Pavin paid tribute to his players after their slender 14½-13½ defeat against Europe in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
"I'm incredibly proud of my team. It was a difficult talk [to my players] but it was from the heart and I was proud of how they fought," he said.
"We'd win as a team or lose as a team and I'm proud of everyone.
"The talk we had [after the defeat] was very emotional. I am quite content with everything - except the result."
Pavin was delighted with his young prodigy Rickie Fowler, one of his captain's picks, who holed a magnificent long putt on the final green for his fourth successive birdie to earn half a point from his match with Edoardo Molinari and put the contest level at 13½-13½.
Stricker & Cink defend Mahan
"That putt was incredible," Pavin added. "It gave us a lot of hope and for a 21-year-old it was amazing. We'll see him a lot in Ryder Cups in future."
The captain, remembered for his demonstrative manner during United States's victory in the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island, was asked about his almost subdued manner on the course in this event.
"I wanted to have a calming effect on the team," he said. "What happened in the team room is a little different.
"There's a lot for the team to hold their heads up about. Europe just played a little better, but next time we'll try to get a different result."
Phil Mickelson, whose singles victory on the final day gave him a solitary point out of four in the event, admitted the result was difficult to take for the US team.
"We put a lot of heart and energy into this, we were convinced we were going to win," said the left-hander, after his eighth Ryder Cup.
"We were all playing well and historically we have always done well in the singles. We just needed a lift in momentum and we felt [Steve] Stricker going out first would provide that and he did. All the matches were staying close.
"Every one of us can say 'this was the deciding factor' but when I didn't win any of my first three points I felt as disappointed as I ever have ever felt."
Another Ryder Cup stalwart, Jim Furyk, playing in his seventh Ryder Cup, dismissed suggestions that he was drained after his memorable and highly lucrative victory at the FedEx Cup the week before.
"I had a week off before Atlanta and playing two weeks in a row isn't so tough, trust me," he said. "This has always been my favourite event, I've never cried after losing other than at the Ryder Cup.
"The third session was our demise, taking half a point out of six."
Emotional Mayan cracks after defeat
World number one Tiger Woods was delighted to return to form with a run of three birdies and an eagle to thrash Francesco Molinari.
"I played well and it was nice to turn my match around," said Woods, who lost the first two holes.
"I've been close to playing like that for a while now and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year."
An emotional Hunter Mahan, who was beaten by Graeme McDowell in the final and decisive match, broke down in tears after describing the denouement.
"He played great, didn't miss a shot and made a bunch of clutch putts," the 28-year-old said.
"That birdie on 16, after I got it to one down, was huge. He just beat me today."
Mahan's teammates were quick to defend him, however, with Steve Stricker saying: "We can all look back and we can think about a shot here or there that could have turned the match to make up that one point, and you hate to see Hunter go through what he's going through because it shouldn't have come down to that.
Stewart Cink added: "If you asked the US Tour players if they would want to be last out in the Ryder Cup I bet only half would say yes - and probably less than 10% would really mean it.
"It's the toughest spot in the game of golf, not many players would want to do that but Hunter was a man on our team, to put himself in that position.
"Hunter Mahan performed like a champ out there today, all right, and I think it's awesome."
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