Tommy Fleetwood drove the green at the par-four 16th hole en route to clinching the winning half-point for Europe at the 44th Ryder Cup.
Team Europe led 10½-5½ entering Sunday’s 12 singles matches needing four points to win with the US team required to get 8½ points to retain the cup.
After falling behind 14-7 Sunday, the US had to sweep the final seven matches of the day. Brooks Koepka finished off Swedish rookie Ludvig Aberg 3&2 and Max Homa made a massive decision to take a drop at the 18th hole that paid off to preserve a 1-up win over Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick.
“Proud, proud, proud moment for me. They play for more than themselves, they play together,” emotional Team Europe captain Luke Donald said in a post-match TV interview.
Xander Schauffele defeated Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard 3&2, but the Americans’ faint hopes fell apart when Rickie Fowler, 1 down to Fleetwood, cut his drive into the water at 16.
Fleetwood’s ensuing drive rolled to 23 feet of the flagstick. His eagle putt was short, but Fowler conceded the birdie, ensuring Europe would gain at least half a point from the match.
Europe has claimed eight of the last 11 Ryder Cups. The Americans failed to end a Ryder Cup drought on the road that dates to 1993.
McIlroy led all players in the 2023 event, winning four of a possible five points.