Europe beats U.S. in Ryder Cup

Doug Ferguson and Doug Ferguson

Over here, over there, it no longer matters. Europe again proved to be the best in the Ryder Cup with its biggest romp over the Americans.

The final blow Sunday was a scene all too familiar at Oakland Hills: With the cup already won, Padraig Harrington made a 25-foot par putt on the 18th hole of the last match that only counted in the record books.

Europe 18 1/2, United States 9 1/2.

It was the Americans’ worst loss in the 77-year history of the Ryder Cup, and there was no doubt who the underdogs are now.

“We haven’t been winning it,” Davis Love III said. “If they keep bringing the cup back on their airplane, we are the underdog.

“It’s a long two years until we get to do it again.”

Lee Westwood ended the slightest suspense with a 4-foot par putt on the 18th to beat Kenny Perry with six matches left to be completed. Colin Montgomerie was 1 up on the 18th hole and assured a half-point, so Europe had the 14 points it needed to retain the cup.

Montgomerie also made a 4-foot par putt to beat David Toms and secure outright victory for Europe for the fourth time in the last five Ryder Cup matches.

The Europeans are not only winning, they are winning big.

“Obviously, our results would suggest that,” Darren Clarke said. “We come here with a big heart, full of hopes, full of expectations.”

The United States still leads the series 24-9-2, but Europe is closing in. It has captured the cup seven times in the last 10 matches with a collection of players not many people know in the States until they are posing with the 19-inch gold trophy.

“We came here again as underdogs. It’s amazing how well we do,” Montgomerie said. “I don’t know how it happens.”

The Americans haven’t figured it out, either. They have the higher world ranking, more majors, greater star power.

But when it comes to the Ryder Cup, it’s no contest.

The Europeans won for the third time on U.S. soil, and they made sure there was no rally like Brookline five years ago when the Americans stormed back from a 10-6 deficit by putting its best players at the top of the lineup and riding a tidal wave of momentum.