European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal kisses the trophy after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.
Indeed winning golf's biggest team competition means some sweet sugar for the winners' lips. And perhaps nobody enjoyed his kiss more than European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal. The Spaniard dedicated the victory to countryman Seve Ballesteros, the golfing legend who died of cancer in May 2011. Captaining the first European team to tee it up since the death of his idol, friend and Ryder Cup teammate, Olazabal had his team wear Ballesteros' signature slacks and white polo shirt with a silhouette of Ballesteros on their sleeves during Sunday's historic comeback, which began with a 10-6 lead for the US but ended with a 14.5-13.5 win for defending champion Europe.
Who saw this coming?
When Sunday began, Team Europe was in a 10-6 hole and in need of a comeback on a historic level to retain the Ryder Cup. By the time the sun began to set on Medinah Country Club in Illinois, it was mission accomplished. After the Europeans bolted out of the gates against the Americans, winning the day's first five points, Germany's Martin Kaymer (with back turned, hands around his head) finished off Steve Stricker 1-up with the score tied at 13-13 to give Europe the final point it needed to retain the Cup. The final score: Europe 14.5, United States 13.5.
Ryder Cup Shuffle?
European players dance around the Ryder Cup on the practice green after being awarded the hardware following Sunday's epic comeback.
Is that Rory McIlroy or Flavor Flav? After almost missing his tee time because of a time zone mix-up, McIlroy could afford to have some fun and pop a bottle. He knows what time it is.
What ... was ... that?!?!
USA's Tiger Woods walks off the course as Europe celebrates its win at the Ryder Cup on Sunday. Woods failed to win a match during the tournament, managing to only halve his final match (when the tournament had been decided) and being benched for a round for the first time in his Ryder Cup career.
I am winner, hear me Rory!
Rory McIlroy of Europe celebrates Sunday after Martin Kaymer holed the decisive putt on the 18th green during singles play to defeat Steve Stricker and give his team the Ryder Cup once again. The Europeans have won the Cup five of the last six meetings.
I get up!
And it will likely be a while before somebody brings Martin Kaymer down. Kaymer jumps into the waiting arms of teammate Sergio Garcia as Rory McIlroy (far right) runs to join in the fun after Kaymer clinched the Ryder Cup on Sunday with his win over Steve Stricker.
A familiar pose
It was repeated throughout the day Sunday — a stunned American golfer wondering what went wrong after losing his singles match to his European opponent. Here, Jim Furyk assumes the pose as the Europeans celebrate with Sergio Garcia, who won their match after Furyk missed a par putt on 18. The match evened the Ryder Cup score at 12-12 at the time.
Unable to recover
Steve Stricker flips his putter after missing a putt on the 17th hole during his singles match with Martin Kaymer on Sunday. The miss gave the hole to Kaymer and gave his opponent a 1-up lead heading to 18. At the time, the Ryder Cup was tied at 13 and Kaymer stepped to 18 knowing he only needed to halve the hole to win the Ryder Cup. And he did just that.
Can barely watch
A USA fan watches from the 18th hole during a singles match on Sunday. She probably shed plenty of tears in that flag.
That's gotta hurt
USA's Jim Furyk reacts after missing a putt on the 16th hole during his Sunday singles match with Sergio Garcia.
Tiger Woods has been on the wrong end of some Ryder Cup battles, but Sunday's collapse at Medinah was easily the worst loss. Woods failed to win a single match at Medinah, splitting with Francesco Molinari to bring the Ryder Cup to a close after the title had been decided in the pairing ahead of him.
Dustin Johnson of the USA celebrates with his caddie Jeff Weber on the 15th hole during his singles match Sunday.
Rory McIlroy of Europe celebrates a putt during his Sunday singles match.
Fans reach for a golf ball on the 17th green during Sunday's singles matches.
It is for the US
A message of support for Team Europe is written in the sky during Sunday's singles matches.
A rare bright spot
On a day where most of his teammates were losers in their singles matches, American Justin Dufner was a winner on Sunday, beating Peter Hanson 2-up for the USA's final win on the day.
Brandt Snedeker reacts after missing a putt on the 15th hole during Sunday's singles match.
Smellin' like a Rose
Europe's Justin Rose reacts after defeating USA's Phil Mickelson on the 18th hole during Sunday's singles match.
Red, white and blew it
There have been some big Ryder Cup collapses, but none bigger than Sunday's at Medinah. The US squandered a four-point lead on the final day and lost 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.
What happened, cap'n?
It's a long, lonely walk for USA team captain Davis Love III.
USA's Bubba Watson reacts to his tee shot on the fourth hole Sunday.
Just in time
Europe's Rory McIlroy (right) shakes hands with USA's Keegan Bradley before their Sunday singles match. McIlroy, who arrived late with just 10 minutes to spare, still won the match.
Cool hand Luke
Europe's Luke Donald reacts after hitting out of a bunker on the 17th hole during Sunday's singles match. The hole gave Donald a win in the match over USA's Bubba Watson.
European golfer Rory McIlroy reacts to missing a chip shot on the first hole during Sunday's singles play. Needless to say, he recovered.
USA's Keegan Bradley watches his drive on the fourth hole during Sunday's singles match.
Rory McIlroy of Europe celebrates after holing out for birdie on the sixth hole during Sunday's singles match.
Walk in the country (club)
Rory McIlroy of Europe walks to the second green with his caddie J.P. Fitzgerald during his singles match vs. Keegan Bradley. McIlroy would win, 2 and 1.
Bubba Watson of the USA chips in for birdie on the 16th hole during Sunday's singles match.
Gotta be the shoes
A USA team caddie sports the stars and stripes.
Gang's all here
A sea of fans is seen near the first tee and clubhouse during the Sunday's singles matches.
All for Paul
Paul Lawrie fans are seen near the first tee.
I can't hear you
Assistant captain Fred Couples of the USA rallies the fans on the first tee.
'Fros for Euros
A Europe team supporter shows his style during Sunday's singles matches.
A United States fan paints his face the colors of the American flag.
Well, one team can, anyway
Singles play at the Ryder Cup on Sunday opens with the Americans holding a 10-6 lead, and with some inspirational skywriting above the Medinah course. Looks like the Europeans were reading.
With fire in his eyes, Ian Poulter birdied his last five holes Saturday to fire up the European team heading into Sunday's Ryder Cup finale. The US leads 10-6, but could have run away with the Cup if not for Poulter's heroics.
Keegan Bradley (left) and Phil Mickelson of the US hug during their phenomenal pairing in the morning session Saturday.
It was another tough day Saturday for Tiger Woods. Can't you tell?
Hair's lookin' at you!
Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps — looking distinctly less aerodynamic than when he was competing — watches Bubba Watson on the sixth hole Saturday during a four-ball match.
Former President Bush talks Saturday with Davis Love III, commander-in-chief of the US Ryder Cup team.
Bubba Watson of the US shoots out of the rough on the fourth hole Saturday during four-ball match play.
One with nature
European Paul Lawrie's shot on the fifth hole Saturday took him to an unwanted walk in the wilderness.
Take a seat
Charlotte Bobcats owner and NBA great Michael Jordan takes a break during Saturday's Ryder Cup play.
Tow the line
USA's Bubba Watson jumps in and helps move some cables before a shot on the 14th hole during Saturday's action.
Where there's smoke
Spain's Miguel Ángel Jiménez lights up a cigar during a foursomes match at the Ryder Cup.
Europe's Rory McIlroy looks pained after missing a putt on the seventh hole during his early foursome play Saturday.
Cop a squat
USA's Jim Furyk, left, and Brandt Snedeker wait to putt on Saturday.
Hey man, nice shot
Darren Clarke congratulates USA's Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley on the 13th hole after early play at the Ryder Cup.
Yankee Doodle dandy!
USA fans cheer on the 16th hole during a foursomes match at the Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.
USA's Webb Simpson hits out of a bunker on the 14th hole during early play on Saturday.
Pumped up times 2
While Team USA's Keegan Bradley exults after making a putt on the ninth hole during a foursomes match on Saturday, partner Phil Mickelson is just as excited.
Flag on the play
Flags are placed on the fence of the grand stands during a foursomes match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament on Saturday.
Here comes the sun
Bubba Watson walks up the second hole during a foursomes match at the Ryder Cup tournament on Saturday.
Europe's Lee Westwood watches his putt on the second hole during a foursomes match. Westwood and Luke Donald were paired with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in Saturday's foursomes.
Start it off
Europe's Graeme McDowell hits a drive on the first tee during Saturday's foursomes match at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.
A skywriter message about Tiger Woods is seen over the clubhouse during Ryder Cup play. Woods was benched Saturday after a less-than-stellar performance on Friday.
How'd I do?
Phil Mickelson runs to look at his shot on the seventh hole during a four-ball match on Friday.
Europe's Nicolas Colsaerts is congratulated by Lee Westwood after making an eagle putt on the 10th hole during a four-ball match on Friday.
USA's Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar celebrate after winning a four-ball match at the Ryder Cup on Friday.
What a start
Phil Mickelson gives a thumbs-up to American teammate Keegan Bradley after Mickelson made a putt to win the 13th hole during Friday's morning foresomes match.
Into the swing of it
Tiger Woods tees off on the third hole during the morning session of the 39th Ryder Cup. Woods and Steve Stricker rallied late but dropped their match to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose.
Sizing it up
The European team held a lead in all four matches when the first of the Friday foursomes reached the turn at Medinah.
United States golfer Brandt Snedeker is congratulated by playing partner Jim Furyk after making a putt on the eighth green. They dropped a 1-up decision to Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in the foursomes.
Justin Rose flips his putter in the air as he reacts to missing a putt on the third hole during the morning round at Medinah Country Club.
Setting the scene
A view of the Medinah Country Club on the first day of competition Friday in the 39th Ryder Cup.
Europe's Luke Donald hits a drive on the ninth hole during the foursomes match Friday. Donald and Sergio Garcia fell to Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson.
Rory McIlroy tees off on the eighth hole during the Friday foursomes.
Graeme McDowell drives on No. 7 during the foursomes match in Medinah, Ill. McDowell and Rory McIlroy won 1-up in the first match of the tournament.
European golfers Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy played foursome and four-ball together in Friday's competition.
Fans cheer on the first tee during the foursomes matches. The United States and Europe played to a 2-2 tie to open the action at Medinah.
Phil Mickelson hits out of a bunker on the 10th hole during his foursomes match.
Brandt Snedeker reacts after a shot on the 10th hole in Friday's morning round in the 39th Ryder Cup.
Long walk spoiled
Europe's Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald make their way to the 13th hole during their 4-and-3 loss to the United States on Friday morning.
Keegan Bradley celebrates after winning a foursomes match with partner Phil Mickelson on the 15th hole.
Jordin Sparks sings the national anthem during the opening ceremony at the Ryder Cup on Thursday at Medinah Country Club near Chicago.
Man with the plan
USA captain Davis Love III announces his pairings during the opening ceremony at the Ryder Cup on Thursday.
Hey, our suits match
(From left) Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and Steve Stricker enjoy themselves during Thursday's Ryder Cup ceremony.
European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal speaks during the opening ceremony.
Walk right in
Europe's Graeme McDowell (left) and USA's Phil Mickelson (right) are introduced during the opening ceremony for the Ryder Cup.
The stars come out for the Ryder Cup ceremony. All-time most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps (right) shakes hands with entertainer (and avid golfer) Justin Timberlake.
Ben, meet the current Mrs. Trump
Donald Trump introduces his wife, Melania, to Ben Crenshaw before the opening ceremony at the Ryder Cup.
That cup looks heavy
Players are introduced during the opening ceremony at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.
As his Euro teammates look on, Ian Poulter of England tees off on the 18th hole during during Thursday's practice at Medinah Country Club.
Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive for the Ryder Cup opening ceremony on Thursday at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.
Blue for you
European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal signs autographs on Thursday at Medinah.
24 hours to tee time
Matt Kuchar hits a drive on the sixth hole at the Medinah Country Club on Thursday, the final day of practice for the Ryder Cup.
US competitors Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk look over the green on the fourth hole during their practice round Thursday.
Sign here, please
Europe's Francesco Molinari signs autographs during his practice round at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.
Phil Mickelson hits out of a bunker on the 14th hole during Thursday's tuneup for the Ryder Cup.
Light it up
Europe's Sergio Garcia makes his way to the second hole during a Ryder Cup practice round Wednesday at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.
Europe's Luke Donald (right) reacts to a putt in front of Graeme McDowell on the ninth hole during a Ryder Cup practice round Wednesday.
Man in the middle
Fans take pictures Wednesday as USA's Tiger Woods hits a shot on the ninth hole during a practice round.
(From left) USA's Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson putt during a practice round Wednesday.
A wall of fans lends support to Europe's Rory McIlroy on the fourth hole during a practice round Wednesday.
Let's get dirty
USA's Zach Johnson hits out of a bunker on the fourth hole during Wednesday's practice round.
USA's Phil Mickelson hands fan Richard Atkins a pin after teeing off on the second hole Wednesday at Medinah Country Club.
Europe's Justin Rose hits out of a bunker on the second hole Wednesday.
USA's Keegan Bradley (left) talks to Phil Mickelson on the third hole Wednesday at Medinah.