The Latest: Watson calls Ryder W his best experience in golf
CHASKA, Minn. (AP) The Latest on the Ryder Cup (all times local):
Bubba Watson has two green jackets and is ranked No. 7 in the world. For him, none of that compares to winning the Ryder Cup on Sunday. And Watson didn't even play.
''This is the greatest thing I've done in golf,'' the vice captain said after the U.S. beat Europe 17-11. ''I'm so happy for this team. This team was amazing. They took me in their arms and let me be a part of it.''
Watson's graciousness came after he was surprisingly left off of the playing roster by captain Davis Love III. But Love's decision was validated when captain's picks Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar combined to go 7-6-0 at Hazeltine. The seven wins were the most by a set of captain's picks in Ryder Cup history.
After the initial disappointment, Watson accepted Love's invitation to be a vice captain.
''A guy like him, showing up here, putting his ego to the side and saying, `I want to be a part of this,''' Brandt Snedeker said. ''And he's the reason why I got around today. He's the reason why I got my point today. He was in my ear all day.''
As one of the most well-known vice captains in Ryder Cup history, Tiger Woods spent the week in Minnesota trying to help the Americans shake an ugly losing streak in the event while also trying to keep as low a profile as possible.
Woods helped captain Davis Love III with several key decisions over the weekend, including keeping Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed together for the afternoon fourball play Saturday. It all added up to a victory on Sunday and Woods said he could not have been happier to be involved.
''We were a team. Whether I was playing or not, I was part of a team,'' Woods said. ''And our team won.''
Victorious U.S. captain Davis Love III says he is proud of his team for handling all the pressure that was on it over the last two years.
After the Americans wrapped up their first Ryder Cup victory since 2008, Love said the work and preparation that went in to assembling this team helped lay the groundwork for success that eluded them so many times before.
''I'm just proud of these guys. They had a lot of pressure on them for the last two years,'' Love said. ''Every time we picked a guy, they had more and more pressure, more and more questions. I'm just so proud of the way they played.''
It was a special redemption for Love, who captained the team at Medinah that gave up a 10-6 lead on the final day in 2012.
The United States has won the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008.
Ryan Moore two-putted on No. 18 for a 1-up victory over Lee Westwood, giving the Americans a 15-10 lead that sealed the win over Europe.
The victory completed a two-year soul search for the Americans after they were routed in Gleneagles for a third straight defeat. They formed a task force to address the shortcomings and delivered an emphatic performance at Hazeltine.
The Americans needed just five points in the 12 singles matches Sunday.
The U.S. wins started with Patrick Reed's thrilling 1-up victory over Rory McIlroy. Rickie Fowler edged Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker beat Andy Sullivan, Brooks Koepka routed Danny Willett and three matches were still being played.
The Americans are closing in on their first Ryder Cup victory since 2008.
Rickie Fowler closed out Olympic champion Justin Rose, 1 up, when Rose missed a short birdie putt on No. 18 and Brooks Koepka finished an easy 5-and-4 victory over Danny Willett to give the U.S. a 12+ to 9+ lead.
Rose missed a short birdie putt that would have halved the match, and Fowler celebrated with a handshake from Michael Jordan.
The Americans are two points away from clinching the cup and hold the lead in four of the six remaining matches on the course.
Patrick Reed hit the tape ahead of Rory McIlroy for a 1-up win in the first - and arguably most contested - match of the day. The win gave the U.S. side its first point and moved the Americans within four of the match.
Reed and McIlroy threw birdies - including the final hole - and chip-ins at each other, stoking the crowd and in one instance, forcing McIlroy to back off a shot. But in one of the classier gestures of the day, the two exchanged fist bumps on the eighth tee.
''We're playing the Europeans, but at the same time we play golf with these guys every single week,'' Reed said. `We want to beat them at their best, they want to beat us at our best.''
Henrik Stenson was already 2-up and Jordan Spieth was looking at a shot out of the pond alongside No. 17 when he conceded the match and gave Europe the first point of the day to pull within 9+-7+.
Stenson's 3 and 2 win puts a bow on a great year for the Swede. He won the British Open and a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and now has kick-started Europe's campaign to come back from a big deficit in singles. He made seven birdies and was credited with an eagle on the final hole after the concession.
The first match of the day has turned out as good as advertised as Patrick Reed moved to 2-up against Rory McIlroy with two holes to play. Throwing birdies at each other, neither player led by more than one through the first 15 holes.
But McIlroy put himself in trouble at the par-5 16th with a tee shot in the right rough, and had to punch out. Then a heckler caused McIlroy to back off his third shot, a wedge that eventually wound up well short. Reed, who was in a greenside bunker in two, took advantage with an explosion to set up a short birdie.
The first six pairings are through the front nine and Europe is clinging to hope that captain Darren Clarke's strategy will start to pay dividends.
Clarke front-loaded his team for singles play on Sunday, hoping that some strong play early would rattle the Americans and embolden the younger charges set to tee off for Europe later in the day.
Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Thomas Pieters and Justin Rose led off for the Europeans, with Spaniards Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sergio Garcia rounding out the top six. The Europeans started the day trailing by three points, with the United States needing only five to clinch its first cup since 2008.
So far, the U.S. leads in two of the first six pairings, but it is up in four of the final six. That means Clarke needs strong finishes from McIlroy and his top guns to give Europe a chance at the comeback.
The golfers on both sides have brought their A games to the final day of the Ryder Cup.
The Americans and Europeans are raining birdies all over Hazeltine, a remarkable level of golf being played under perfect weather conditions.
There were 46 birdies and one eagle through the first 118 holes played on Sunday. That's a birdie rate of 39 percent. Among the highlights is a run of four straight birdies from American Phil Mickelson.
With all 12 matches now in play, the Europeans lead in six and the Americans are up in two, with four all square.
European captain Darren Clarke called the leadoff matchup in singles on Sunday between Rory McIlroy and American Patrick Reed ''mouth-watering.'' It's been all that and more through eight holes.
The two fiery competitors have traded jacked-up celebrations on the front nine, whipping themselves and the crowd into a frenzy.
McIlroy took a 1-up lead after four, pumping his fists and staring down the gallery with each big shot. He also shushed the crowd after a birdie putt on No. 7. When he rolled a long birdie putt into the hole on No. 8, he yelled to the gallery ''I can't hear you!''
Reed has been every bit as demonstrative. He rolled a 20-footer in to match McIlroy's birdie on No. 8 and waved his finger right in McIlroy's face.
Earlier, after McIlroy rolled in a birdie putt on No. 6, Reed responded with one of his own, taking a bow as the ball dropped into the hole.
It was a sarcastic bite at McIlroy, who bowed after a match-winning eagle putt on Friday evening.
American captain Davis Love III says he and his vice captains will be vigilant in identifying unruly fans in the galleries at the Ryder Cup.
Love says they will be watching and listening for heckling that goes out of bounds and will not hesitate to help security officials throw fans out.
Love says 97 percent of the fans at Hazeltine have been great, ''but it's the 3 percent we're hearing out there.'' Love says he has even dispatched his son on a cart to monitor the situation over the last two days, particularly during Rory McIlroy's rounds.
Love says his son identified several fans that crossed the line on Saturday and had security officials eject them from the course.
''He's a Rory fan and he was throwing people out that were ugly to Rory,'' Love said in a television interview.
Henrik Stenson's opening tee shot in his match against Jordan Spieth wound up behind a stand of port-a-potties on the left side of the first fairway.
Undaunted, the Swede took a free drop two club-lengths to his right, because the stand is considered an immovable obstruction not normally part of the course, then knocked his approach on the green.
The recovery, though, did him little good, since Spieth chipped in from the fringe just behind the flag to take a 1-up lead.
Hearing chants of ''Welcome Rory! Welcome Rory!'' European star Rory McIlroy got the final day of the Ryder Cup off to a raucous start when he teed off on No. 1.
McIlroy teed off first in a highly anticipated showdown with Patrick Reed to begin the singles matches. McIlroy and Reed have been the two best performers for the two sides all weekend. And both have fed off the rowdy Hazeltine crowd.
McIlroy found the fairway on No. 1 while Reed's tee shot went left into the rough.
The PGA of America is pleading with the raucous, rowdy crowd at Hazeltine National Golf Club to be respectful of all participants heading into the final day of the Ryder Cup.
The PGA issued a statement Sunday saying security staff will remove any fans that ''are disruptive in any way, including the use of vulgar or profane language directed at the players.''
Galleries of more than 50,000 have packed the golf course over the first two days of the event and have made their voices heard as they back the Americans in the biennial event.
Europe's Rory McIlroy has been at the center of much of the heckling, and has responded forcefully after making big shots.
The Americans lead the Europeans 9+ to 6+ heading into singles play, needing five points in the 12 matches to win for the first time since 2008.