Europe defeats the United States in one of the most epic comebacks in Ryder Cup history

Martin Kaymer proved to be the hero for the European side with a clutch putt on the 18th green. (Getty Images)

In what tied the biggest comeback in the history of this event, Europe retained the Ryder Cup on Sunday after winning eight of the possible 12 singles matches at Medinah.

The United States was up 10-6 heading into the final day, and it looked all but over for Jose Maria Olazabal's team, but armed with a front-loaded lineup, the Euros won their first five matches, and that's when things got interesting. 

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After Luke Donald took care of Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter continued his great play with a win over Webb Simpson, the late-arriving Rory McIlroy was able to cool off Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose had one of the greatest finishes to any singles match ever with his win over Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson was 1-up on Rose standing on the 16th green, and after rolling in a birdie putt it looked like the worst the left-hander could do was a half point, but Rose rammed his birdie putt in the back of the cup, and followed that up with a lengthy birdie putt on the 17th hole and a clutch birdie putt on the final green to steal the full point away from the Americans. 

When Rose won that match, it seemed the momentum completely shifted.

Jim Furyk was leading Sergio Garcia and Steve Stricker was neck-and-neck with Martin Kaymer, but the closing stretch of holes doomed Team USA.

The 17th hole was a turning point in almost every clutch match the Americans lost, with Furyk going bogey-bogey on the final two holes to give Garcia his full point, and Stricker failing to make his par on the 17th hole that put him 1-down to Kaymer and forced Stricker to win the 18th hole to keep the Cup from the Euros. 

The putt that won it for Europe came from Kaymer, an unlikely hero who had failed to win a point all week before Sunday. His six-footer on the final hole found the middle of the cup and the Cup was over. 

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