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Europe wins the Ryder Cup

Valderrama, Spain, 28th September - In a stirring, emotion charge atmosphere around the 18th green Colin Montgomerie in the final singles match secured a half point that gave Europe victory over the Americans 14 to 13 in the 32nd Ryder Cup;

About 50 minutes earlier the crowd erupted into cheers and shouting when Bernhard Langer defeated Brad Faxon at the 17th hole to secure the point needed to tie allowing Europe to retain the Cup won two years ago at Oak Hill. Rochester, N.Y. One of the European team jumped into the pond at the front of the 17th green.

Not even the heavy downpour of rain could dampen the spirits as the Americans made a spirited fight in the 12 singles matches. They won seven and halved two after Europe had surged into a five point lead by winning one and halving the other of the suspended foursomes matches earlier in the morning. Hoch and Jeff Maggert defeated Nick Faldo and Lee Westwood, 2 and 1, while Jose Maria Olazabal and Costantino Rocca downed Fred Couples and Davis Love III, 5 and 4. Justin Leonard and Tiger Woods halved their match with Jesper Parnevik and Ignacio Garrido. For the entire competition, Woods went 1-3-1 and Love 0-4.

The five-point margin equalled the biggest lead going into the singles since the 28-point format was adopted in 1979. The United States led by the same score in 1981 and Europe in 1987.

The U.S. team had their spirits lifted earlier in the day when Fred Couples defeated Ian Woosnam 8 and 7 in the first match. and as the singles matches approached the turn, the Americans led in the eight matches needed.

However, shortly afterwards, both Davis Love III and Tiger Woods followed one another in defeat which put the momentum back with Europe. Also remarkable was the result of the fourth match in which Justin Leonard and Thomas Bjorn played to a draw after Leonard had won the first, four holes going out.

Seve said, "I knew the Americans were injured in the heart when they came out this morning with the idea of playing hard, and they nearly took the Cup away from us. But we won, and I am a most happy man right now."

"This will go down in history because I am the first (non-British) captain and first man to win the Ryder Cup as a captain and a player," he said. "I'm the most happy man in the world."

When it was clear that Colin Montgomerie would at least tie with Scot Hoch, Seve Ballesteros walked onto the final green and suggested to Montgomerie that he concede Hoch's final putt. Montgomerie had hopes of beating Hoch outright and winning a full point. But by this time and with outright victory in hand, Ballesteros had had enough, and Montgomerie conceded.