Graeme Mcdowell celebrates after clinching the Ryder Cup for the European team in Wales Oct. 4, 2010.UPI/Hugo Philpott | License Photo
NEWPORT, Wales, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Graeme McDowell won the final singles match Monday, giving the European team the final point needed in edging the United States for the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales.
With the event tied and only one match to be decided, McDowell needed to win his match. He took the 17th hole, sealing a 3-and-1 victory over Hunter Mahan.
That gave the Europeans 14 1/2 points, the bare minimum needed to take the cup from the Americans, who were defending their 2008 Ryder Cup title.
Rains Friday and Sunday necessitated the Monday completion of the event. The Europeans led 9 1/2-6 1/2 going into Monday's 12 singles matches.
The teams were 3-3-1 after seven matches but the Americans pulled back into contention with wins by Tigers Woods, Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson and a halve by Rickie Fowler, who was down four with four to play.
That left only the McDowell-Mahan match on the course with McDowell 2-up after 16 holes. Neither player ended up on the green with their tee shots on the par-3 17th hole but Mahan, who later said it was the most nervous he'd even been on a golf course, also left his chip short of the green.
After McDowell putted from the fringe to within 4 feet, Mahan missed his shot and then conceded the hole to McDowell.
It was the fourth European Ryder Cup win in the last five competitions. Since 1979, when the team was expanded to include all European players, Europe has won eight of the 16 competitions, the United States seven and there was one draw.