Do call it a comeback.

Both the European team and the United States squad would likely prefer it that way. After all, if the thrilling come-from-behind win for the golfers representing Europe isn't remembered as perhaps the most incredible comeback in Ryder Cup history then it must be regarded as an epic collapse by the Americans.

Boasting a 10-6 lead when they turned up at Medinah on Sunday, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and the rest of the United States team just needed to avoid an all-out rout in the concluding day of the 2012 Ryder Cup. They could not. Even after the Europeans captured the first four points of the singles action on Sunday, the United States team still had a path its winning point total of 14 1/2, with a few in-progress matches looking to go their way.

Both Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk took 1-up leads to the 17 hole in their respective matches yet came away without a point as Europe won seven of the first nine matches to take a 13-12 lead. Justin Rose overtook Mickelson with a birdie birdie finish to their singles match while Sergio Garcia capitalized on an inopportune miss by Furyk.

CLICK HERE for hole-by-hole breakdown of singles competition.

Needing just one point to retain the cup, Europe celebrated when Martin Kaymer held off Steve Stricker by rolling in a 6-foot putt at 18 for a 1-up win over Steve Stricker.


Ryder Cup Team EUR
He's done it, Europe retains the Ryder Cup!

After Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari halved the final point of the tournament, Europe retained the Ryder Cup, with an overall score of 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 and a dominant 8 1/2 to 3 1/2 edge in singles. This dramatic reversal marks a moment of sweet revenge for European captain Jose Maria Olazabal, who was there in 1999 when the U.S. team turned a 10-6 deficit into a stirring triumph. Before the latest edition of Ryder Cup, that '99 comeback was widely considered the most thrilling moment in the history of the competition. Will the "Miracle at Medinah" surpass it?

"I guess they had to reroute the champagne from the American locker room to the European locker room because 24 hours ago we weren't winning this thing," Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland told Golf Channel during its broadcast of the European celebration. "[It was] an incredible team effort because, personally it wasn't my best weekend at the Ryder Cup but you know what? This personifies it for me.. being able to share it with 11 teammates. Whether I played good or bad, we're talking the Ryder Cup home to Europe."

Although the Americans surely entered the day in an enviable position, the European surge truly began on Saturday when Ian Poulter reeled off five straight birdies in an impressive display to grab the final point of the day.

"It's given the whole team a massive boost, to be able to go into tomorrow morning knowing that you can win from this position," Poulter said after wrapping up his superlative Saturday, via Golfweek.

As impressive as anyone at Medinah, Poulter continued his strong play on Sunday, defeating U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson 2-up to even the Ryder Cup, 10-10.

"Ollie said to us at the start of the week, Ryder Cup is what memories and dreams are made of," Poulter told Sky Sports Golf after his side's triumph. "And he's been awesome."

STORY CONTINUES BELOW:

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  • Jim Furyk

    USA's Jim Furyk reacts after missing a putt on the 16th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Players pour Champagne on Europe's Justin Rose as the celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Peter Hanson

    Europe's Sergio Garcia, left to right, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Peter Hanson celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • European fans are sprayed with Champagne as they celebrate winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Francesco Molinari

    Europe's Francesco Molinari celebrates after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • European players celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Sergio Garcia

    Europe's Sergio Garcia celebrates after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Sergio Garcia

    Europe's Sergio Garcia throws his shoes to fans after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald

    Europe's Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jose Maria Olazabal

    European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal celebrates after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jose Maria Olazabal

    European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal celebrates after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • European players celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • European fans celebrates after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy

    Europe's Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson

    USA's Jim Furyk reacts as European players celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. Next to Furyk are Phil Mickelson and Webb Simpson. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Paul Lawrie

    Europe's Paul Lawrie reacts after making a putt on the third hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Graeme McDowell

    Europe's Graeme McDowell reacts after missing a putt on the third hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Rory McIlroy

    Europe's Rory McIlroy hits out of a bunker on the seventh hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Jason Dufner

    USA's Jason Dufner reacts after making a putt on the second hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Peter Hanson

    Europe's Peter Hanson hits out of a bunker on the third hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Nicolas Colsaerts

    Europe's Nicolas Colsaerts reacts after making a putt on the second hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Steve Stricker

    USA's Steve Stricker reacts after winning the second hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Keegan Bradley

    USA's Keegan Bradley reacts after making a birdie putt on the 11th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Tiger Woods

    USA's Tiger Woods hits a drive on the second hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Rory McIlroy

    Europe's Rory McIlroy makes his way to the first tee before a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Jose Maria Olazabal

    European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal watches drives on the first tee during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Tiger Woods

    USA's Tiger Woods wipes his eyes after hitting out of a bunker on the second hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Tiger Woods

    USA's Tiger Woods hits a drive on the third hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Fred Couples, Darren Clarke

    Co-captains Fred Couples and Darren Clarke chat on the 11th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Paul Lawrie

    Europe's Paul Lawrie hits a drive on the ninth hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • The blimp flies near some skywriting during singles matches at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Phil Mickelson

    USA's Phil Mickelson reacts after making a birdie on the 11th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Webb Simpson

    USA's Webb Simpson reacts after missing a putt on the 12th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Ian Poulter

    Europe's Ian Poulter reacts after making a putt on the 12th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Luke Donald

    Europe's Luke Donald reacts after hitting out of a bunker on the 17th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. The hole gave Donald a win in the match over USA's Bubba Watson. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Bubba Watson

    USA's Bubba Watson reacts after chipping in for a birdie on the 16th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Phil Mickelson

    USA's Phil Mickelson reacts after missing a putt on the 13th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Rory McIlroy

    Europe's Rory McIlroy hits out of a bunker on the 14th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Dustin Johnson

    USA's Dustin Johnson walks across the bridge on the 13th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Keegan Bradley

    USA's Keegan Bradley reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 12th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Keegan Bradley

    USA's Keegan Bradley reacts after missing a putt on the 16th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Brandt Snedeker

    USA's Brandt Snedeker reacts after missing a putt on the 15th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy

    USA's Keegan Bradley congratulates Europe's Rory McIlroy after their singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy

    Darren Clarke congratulates Europe's Rory McIlroy after winning his singles match against USA's Keegan Bradley at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Webb Simpson, Ian Poulter

    USA's Webb Simpson, right, congratulates Europe's Ian Poulter after their singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Ian Poulter

    Europe's Ian Poulter acknowledges the crowd after winning singles match against USA's Webb Simpson at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Ian Poulter

    Europe's Ian Poulter reacts after defeating USA's Webb Simpson during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Europe's Justin Rose reacts after defeating USA's Phil Mickelson on the 18th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Justin Rose

    Europe's Justin Rose reacts after defeating USA's Phil Mickelson on the 18th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Davis Love III, Dustin Johnson

    USA's captain Davis Love III congratulates Dustin Johnson after his singles match win over Europe's Nicolas Colsaerts at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Justin Rose

    Europe's Justin Rose reacts after defeating USA's Phil Mickelson on the 18th hole during a singles match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


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MEDINAH, Ill. -- Europe has won the Ryder Cup, completing an historic comeback from a 4-point deficit to beat the MEDINAH, Ill. -- Europe has won the Ryder Cup, completing an historic comeback from a 4-point deficit to beat the United States.

Martin Kaymer delivered the crucial point with a 1-up victory over Steve Stricker on Sunday, and Tiger Woods missed from inside four feet to halve his match with Francesco Molinari. The Europeans finished with 14 1/2 points while the Americans had 13 1/2.

When Kaymer rolled in the 6-footer to clinch the cup, he threw up his arms in triumph and shook his fists. His teammates, surrounding the green and already on their feet, roared and began grabbing flags and hugging each other , fans - anyone and anything that was in reach.

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal, watching from the middle of the fairway, closed his eyes and looked skyward. This was the first Ryder Cup without the late Seve Ballesteros, Europe's greatest player, and Olazabal had repeatedly invoked the memory of his good friend.

It was a brutal loss for the Americans, who were poised to win the Ryder Cup for only the third time since 1999 after taking a 10-4 lead midway through Saturday afternoon's matches. But the Europeans rallied to win the final two, then built on the lead by winning the first five matches Sunday.