Love: We got beaten badly in this one

United States captain Davis Love III felt he had done all he could to win back the Ryder Cup for his country.

Despite leading 10-6 heading into the final day’s singles, the Americans slumped to a 14½–13½ defeat to Europe after one of the most dramatic fightbacks in the competition’s history.

Europe won the first five matches of the day and eight in total before Francesco Molinari halved the last to secure an outright victory.

Love said: “I wouldn’t have done anything different. They played great.

“We had a couple of matches get flipped there at the end that made it a little easier on them.

“This is a great team, we had a great week. We played together as a team and we said we wanted to win every segment. But we got beaten badly in this one, and any time you lose a segment that badly it is going to cost you the Ryder Cup.”

Love was a playing member of the previous side to recover from such a four-point deficit, at Brookline in 1999.

The 48-year-old said: “Well it’s exactly the same, the same score. They came back and won.

“They had a couple of hot streaks in the first two days that kept them in it. Ian Poulter’s hot streak at the end on Saturday gave them some confidence and I know they built on that.”

Martin Kaymer claimed the crucial 14th point for Europe by holding his nerve to halve the final hole against Steve Stricker and win his match by a hole.

That was the penultimate match on the course, meaning the final one between Molinari and Tiger Woods could not affect the destination of the cup. Nevertheless, the final score would still have ended tied at 14-14 had Woods, when one-up, not missed a putt at the 18th and then conceded the hole to Molinari.

Woods said: “I didn’t pay that much attention — I was trying to get my point. I went one-up at 17 and asked Joey [caddie Joe LaCava] what was going on down 18, because my responsibility was to be able to get my point.

“And then they said Europe had a chance to win on this hole, or retain the cup. Then after all that went down, my putt was useless. It was inconsequential. So I hit it too quick and gave him his putt. It was already over.”

World No 2 Woods, who did not win any of his four matches all week, has now been on the losing side at six Ryder Cups. The 14-time Major winner said: “It’s the second time it’s happened to me being on the fairway.

“It happened at The Belfry [in 2002] on 17, playing Jesper [Parnevik] and our match was inconsequential, and the same thing here.”

Andrew Magee, a 20-year veteran of the PGA Tour, singled out Woods for criticism on BBC Radio 5: “It’s great to see the Europeans celebrate. I think you guys do celebrations way better than we do.

“Tiger Woods had an abysmal, dismal Ryder Cup here in Chicago. I think he’ll get blasted by every possible media outlet there is in this country. To not pull up a single point? To shoot over par today? Is his heart really in this? I don’t think so.”

Bubba Watson took to Twitter to say congratulations to the European team — “Wow! What a finish. Congrats to Europe! Seve is/would be so proud! — as did world No 27 Rickie Fowler: “Torn for my boys!! Crazy stuff...that’s the Ryder Cup...congrats to the Euro Team! They stepped up big time!”

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