Nick Faldo’s European team were comprehensively outplayed as the USA, captained by Paul Azinger, regained the Ryder Cup at Valhalla on September 21, 2008.

On this day in 2008: The USA win the Ryder Cup

On this day in 2008: The USA win the Ryder Cup

Europe had won the previous three matches but this one ended up in a resounding 16 1/2-11 1/2 victory for the hosts.

Faldo’s decisions were criticised throughout, none more so than the order in which he sent his players out for the final day singles.

A dejected Nick Faldo accepts defeat, with Phil Mickelson looking on (Nick Potts/PA)

Europe trailed by two points after the first two days but Faldo chose to leave Padraig Harrington, the Open and USPGA champion, until last despite the risk his result would be irrelevant.

That was exactly how things played out, with European giants Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell all still out on the course when the result was decided.

The winning point was secured by Jim Furyk, who beat Miguel Angel Jimenez on the 17th.

Faldo put on a brave face afterwards, saying: “We are talking about fractions between these two teams. If we could get it to the last four guys – that was the risk I guess we took.

Nick Faldo (second right) talks to Ian Poulter (right) and Justin Rose (second left) (Nick Potts/PA)

“We gave our heart and soul. The golf was fantastic and this particular week they have done us. Everybody has given 100 per cent and that’s all you can do.”

Azinger said: “My captain’s picks played well. I’m real proud of them. The pressure is always on them.

“Today was an incredible day. The crowds were beautiful and they were well-behaved, and the European team and players, I’m proud of them. They really showed a lot of class in defeat. I’m just so honoured that I was able to be here and do this.”

Europe reclaimed the title at Celtic Manor in 2010 and have won four of thefive editions since 2008. The delayed 43rd Ryder Cup will begin at Whistling Straits on Friday.

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