In an unlikely turn of events on Sunday at the 2012 Ryder Cup, Team Europe came from four points back to defeat the United States 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.
The European squad won eight of 12 singles matches to equal the greatest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history. They have now won the last two Ryder Cups, five of the last six, and seven of the last nine.
Europe entered the final day of competition needing an improbable eight points to retain the Ryder Cup and somehow managed to get 8 1/2, thanks to singles victories by Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. Francesco Molinari halved the final match of the day against Tiger Woods for a then-meaningless half point because the outcome of the event had already been determined.
For the European team, it will be forever known as the "Miracle at Medinah." For the United States squad, "Miracle" will be replaced by "Meltdown."
I certainly wasn't alone in thinking this outcome wasn't going to happen. I knew it was possible, but I didn’t see it coming. After all, the U.S. team had too much momentum, they had the “home-field advantage,” and they had the hottest golfers.
As it turned out, none of that mattered as the European squad loaded their best players onto the front of their Sunday singles match lineup in an attempt to draw even with Team USA. They proceeded to accomplish that and more.
It was an epic collapse by the United States team, who entered the final day of competition needing just 4 1/2 points in the singles matches to reclaim the Ryder Cup. But the Americans could only muster wins by Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner in a monumentally disappointing effort.
Here are four reasons the U.S. team fell apart on Sunday.