The United States have regained the Ryder Cup with a record 19-9 victory over Europe at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Open champion Collin Morikawa claimed the winning half point in the fifth of Sunday’s 12 singles matches as the home side raced to the 14½ points they needed.
Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter – Europe’s only winners in the singles – were in tears as they showed the emotion of what will be a chastening defeat, reports the BBC.
Around them, American players celebrated, with Brooks Koepka downing a beer thrown to him from the fans after he completed a 2&1 victory on the 17th green to booming chants of “U-S-A” from a 40,000-strong home crowd.
There had already been big wins for Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau amid a carnival atmosphere by Lake Michigan, while Dustin Johnson became the first American to win all five matches at a Ryder Cup since 1979.
Such was the headiness of the celebrations that Koepka and DeChambeau, who have been involved in a long-running feud, briefly embraced in the post-match media conference, with US captain Steve Stricker saying they had “wanted to play together”.
“This is a special day for everyone here involved,” added Stricker, who struggled to keep his emotions in check as a Wisconsinite.
“The Ryder Cup means a lot to everybody, your side and our side. We finally put in a dominant performance.
“This is a new era right here, they are young, motivated, they came here determined to win.
“I never won a major. But this is my major.”
Europe captain Harrington conceded: “It’s a tough loss, but they were better than us. They were a strong team and played on their best form. They had momentum the whole time.”
The margin of victory eclipses the 18½-9½ successes enjoyed by Europe in 2004 and 2006 and America’s own triumph in 1981.
This was a thoroughly deserved win, built on a dominant opening two days for the hosts.
They led 6-2 after Friday’s foursomes and fourballs sessions, and extended that to a record 11-5 on Saturday to leave themselves needing to win just 3½ points out of the 12 available in the singles.
Harrington spoke on Saturday evening of using the spirit of 2012, when the visitors came from 10-6 down to win the ‘Miracle of Medinah’ – the only away victory in the past eight editions – to inspire his side.
He put McIlroy, who had lost all three of his matches, out first and the Northern Irishman immediately put European blue on the scoreboard by winning the first hole against Olympic champion Xander Schauffele.
And when Harrington’s fellow Irishman Shane Lowry went ahead on the second in the second match, the few European fans who had managed to make it to Whistling Straits this week started to believe.
However, Cantlay, who won the PGA Tour’s season-long FedEx Cup and its $15m prize earlier this month, won the next four holes to take control of that match.
Behind him, Scheffler birdied the first four holes as he put world number one Jon Rahm under early pressure.
And then the big-hitting DeChambeau hit his tee shot on the par-four first onto the green and holed the 40-foot eagle putt to stun Sergio Garcia.
They were leads the Americans would keep throughout their matches against the Spaniards, who had combined for three points from three matches in Friday and Saturday’s fourballs and foursomes.