US beat Europe to win Ryder Cup golf title

September 22nd, 2008 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Louisville (Kentucky), Sep 22 (DPA) The US defeated Europe 16.5 to 11.5 at the Valhalla Golf Club here to take the Ryder Cup golf title for the first time since Brookline in 1999.Jim Furyk beat Miguel Angel Jiminez 2-1 in his singles match Sunday to give US an unassailable 14.5 points it needed to win the trophy.

“It feels great to score the points that won the Ryder Cup,” said Furyk. “I have been on the other side. I am just so happy for all my teammates. There could have been anyone in that spot.”

The US went into the final day’s singles two points ahead of the holders and got the perfect start as Kim won the first match against Sergio Garcia to move Paul Azinger’s team into a 10-7 lead.

The 23-year-old Kim birdied three of the first four holes and was three up at the turn before eventually running out a comfortable 5 and 4 victor.

Europe subsequently narrowed the gap to just a point thanks to wins by Justin Rose and Robert Karlsson in their singles matches.

Karlsson earned Europe’s first point of the day with a 5-3 victory over Justin Leonard after playing a steady round without a single bogey, while Rose put Europe right back in contention, sinking a 10-metre putt to register a 3 and 2 victory over Jim Michelson.

Hunter Mahan and Paul Casey halved their match, but local favourite Kenny Perry sent the home crowd wild by sinking a long putt on 16 to defeat Sweden’s Henrik Stenson 3-2.

Boo Weekley then sank a birdie at 16 to secure a 4-2 victory over Oliver Wilson and another point for the US, while J.B. Holmes moved the home team nearer to the finishing line with a 2-1 win over Soren Hansen.

Furyk’s victory in the eighth match on the course then ensured the win for US captain Paul Azinger’s team.

“We just had a plan, and we stuck to it,” said Azinger. “Golf was spectacular on both sides, and our guys just came out on top. They just took in everything again, their attitude in this competition. I could not be happier. They really grinded it out. It could have gone either way, the first and second day, and it could have just tilted our way.”

Azinger’s European counterpart Nick Faldo said the US team was simply stronger and that he couldn’t blame any of his players.

“They were just a little bit better in a few places. I can’t point a finger at anybody,” said Faldo.

“I am very happy. One of my goals was to leave Sunday night knowing that I had given my best, and I am more than comfortable with the way everything has panned out.”

Although Furyk secured the vital winning point for the US, there were still four matches out on the course to be completed, with each team winning two apiece.

Graeme McDowell beat Stewart Cink 2-1, and Ian Poulter defeated Steve Stricker 3-2 to secure the European wins, while Ben Curtis prevailed 2-1 over Lee Westwood, and Chad Campbell defeated US PGA and British Open champion Padraig Harrington by the same score.

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