2004 - Europe's Motown rout

  • Last Updated: September 24 2012, 22:49 BST

USA 9½ Europe 18½ - Bernhard Langer's meticulously organised Europeans pulled off yet another fabulous Ryder Cup victory in record-breaking fashion in Detroit.

  • Langer's men routed the US
  • Howell (L) and Casey were the heroes on Saturday 
  • Sergio Garcia beats Phil Mickelson to end with 4½ points from 5 
  • It's Colin Montgomerie who seals outright victory by beating David Toms 
  • Langer and his team start the celebrations in Detroit 

Europe pulled off yet another fabulous Ryder Cup victory in record-breaking fashion in Detroit, but only after one almighty scare.

What many thought might be a walk in the park when they went into the final day at Oakland Hills needing to win only three of the 12 singles suddenly turned into anything but.

The Americans, their pride hurt by a drubbing on the first two days, established leads in the first five games and six of the first seven.

But Bernhard Langer's side, full of character as well as characters, were not to be denied and stormed back to win by an incredible 18½-9½ margin.

And they have now, just as incredibly, won four of the last five clashes.

There were heroes all the way through the team, but pride of place had to be given to Colin Montgomerie - the old war horse picked by Langer to do a job. And how wonderfully he did it.

Lee Westwood was actually the player who guaranteed the famous gold trophy had been retained, beating Kenny Perry with a six-foot putt on the 18th.

But then, just eight minutes later, along came Montgomerie to produce exactly what he did at Valderrama in 1997 - the performance which gave Europe victory in the match.

After sitting out a session on the second day the 41-year-old Scot, in the most traumatic year of his life, returned to action with everything in the balance again.

But he birdied the first to put the first European blue on the leaderboard and 17 holes later made a four-footer to beat David Toms and leave the Americans licking their wounds again.

"It's been a fantastic week," said Montgomerie. "Bernhard Langer has been a wonderful captain, but he had great troops playing for him.

"We had strength at the top, in the middle and at the bottom. We were so close-knit - one of the closest in international sport.

"It's amazing how we play for each other. I'm not saying the Americans don't, but we acted as one from the moment we get on the plane to fly over here."

Langer, as meticulous as a captain as he is as a player, added: "It's been a tremendous week. We've had so much fun and I'm so proud of the guys, especially today.

"We were down early on, but came back strong. They have a lot of heart - and I think it's awesome that Monty got the winning point.

"He proved how great he is. He has never lost a singles and here he is winning the match." He could have added "again".

"I didn't think we wouldn't win, but I thought it was going to be very close. But I wanted us not just to win, but to win big."

Europe lost from four points ahead in Boston five years ago - the infamous "Bearpit" day which turned ugly and ended controversially - and knew that even six points clear was not a safe position.

Sure enough, things started to become twitchy when the Americans came out with their big guns.

First Tiger Woods beat Paul Casey three and two.

Woods was all over the show off the tee on the front nine, but ended it two-up. Casey, out in a nervy three over 38 and behind from the moment he three-putted the first, could do nothing, however, about the world number two's fabulous 30-foot eagle at the long 12th and was shaking hands four holes later.

Casey and Howell were the Saturday heroes, but they were the first two to lose on Sunday, Howell being crushed six and four by Jim Furyk after bogeying the first two holes.

Langer had provided Sutton with some ammunition for his morale-boosting team talk by saying he was expecting two points from the top three singles - the games involving Woods, Mickelson and Love, of course.

Sutton had also been put out by a question about why some of his weakest players this week were at the top of the order - and he hoped his stars had been, of course.

In the second game Phil Mickelson was two up after eight on Sergio Garcia, but the 24-year-old Spaniard turned things round completely and, when he won three and two after the Masters champion had dumped his approach to the 16th in water, Garcia had finished the week with 4½ points out a possible five.

Darren Clarke was two down with three to go against Davis Love, birdied the 16th and then chipped in dramatically from thick rough on the short 17th for another.

He had a four-foot chance to win on the last after Love had missed from slightly longer, but they lipped out and so they halved. The Ulsterman has yet to win a singles in four matches, but his contribution was almost as big as Garcia's.

Westwood did match Garcia's tally and, when he beat Perry, the celebrations began.

Luke Donald had lost to Chad Campbell by then, but six games were still on the course and with the European tail wagging magnificently there was still the chancer to make it a record-breaking victory.

When Ian Poulter and then Thomas Levet triumphed all 12 Europeans had produced at least one point to the team cause.

The previous record European points total - the 16½-9½ victory of The Belfry in 1985 that ended an American stranglehold of the event going back to 1957 - was broken when Paul McGinley, the match-winning hero from two years ago, beat Stewart Cink and then, with a 25-foot putt on the 18th, Padraig Harrington got the better of Jay Haas.

American captain Hal Sutton commented: "We never got the charisma going. We caught glimpses of it, but no more and the truth is the Europeans out-played us.

"I made mistakes and I take responsibility for them. The pairings I set didn't create any charisma (Mickelson-Woods most notably). But I'm going to live with what I did, move on and hug my kids tomorrow.

"This is such a spectacular event and there is a lot of pressure on these guys. The ones who handle the pressure and get the ball in the hole come out winners, but in golf you learn to lose a lot."