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PGA Tour Confidential: Europe wins Ryder Cup with epic rally in Sunday singles

Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson
Robert Beck / SI
Justin Rose's win over Phil Mickelson may have been the turning point on Sunday afternoon.

THE KEY MATCH OR SHOT
Godich: Europe's fast start in the Sunday singles was obviously huge in the comeback, but the Cup was still there for the Americans' taking as the afternoon wore on. Identify the one match or shot on which the Ryder Cup turned.

Shipnuck: Rose stealing a point from Phil in the fourth match by taking the last 2 holes. Instead of being 2 down, Europe was even and the Cup was up for grabs.

Morfit: Rose's 40-foot birdie putt on 17 after Phil thought he'd made his chip. Phil said he thought he'd won the match right there. Total reversal.

Garrity: As I said before, I think it was Rose's putt on 17. If it doesn't go in, Phil is still 1 up and is guaranteed at least a half point. And it would have put an American flag up in Match 4, among all those blue flags.

Godich: That ball was motoring too. Rose might well have three-putted, meaning they would've never even seen the 18th tee.

Wei: Rose draining that bomb on 17. When the Europeans in the later matches saw all blue on the board, it turned the momentum. It completely changed the atmosphere, too.

Hanger: Rose's putt is what stands out as a single shot, but a huge early loss was Keegan Bradley falling to Rory McIlroy. Keegan had been playing like a man possessed, second only to Poulter, and Rory barely made it to the tee in time. When the U.S. lost that one, it seemed to spell trouble.

Godich: I'll go later and say Stricker's chip on 17. He has to get that ball to kick-in range, especially with Kaymer staring at a five-footer. No excuse to make bogey there.

Hanger: Ironic that the guy on the team for his putting (and Tiger counseling) showed such nerves on the greens at the end. Poor guy.

Morfit: Stricker, unfortunately, looked all of his 45 years at this Cup.

Garrity: I'd also nominate Webb Simpson's bogey on 17. He hadn't trailed Poulter all day, but you can't give Ian life in a Ryder Cup match. Very costly.

Gorant: Bubba's adrenalin shot on the first tee. As soon as that happened our esteemed colleague Mark Godich came into my office and said, "uh oh." He was right.

Morfit: A lot of weird things happened in this Ryder Cup, including the Americans' dominating in the team play but getting crushed in the singles. Not how it used to happen, but then America always used to have the stronger team.

Garrity: And how weird was this? It came down to the last two matches, and those four players hadn't scored a single point before Sunday. Who was the casting director?

Herre: As the esteemed Paul Mahoney put it, it came down to "your do-dos versus our do-dos." The Brits have such a way with words.

Dusek: Rose's putt on 17 was huge, but Webb Simpson's inability to hold was really big too. He talked so much with his caddie before and after every shot that he reminded me of tennis players who constantly look at their coaches and friends seated courtside for approval.

Van Sickle: Rose's putt on 17 is the obvious choice. But I'll go deeper and say I didn't think Bubba Watson was the guy to send out first. As soon as he got matched against Donald, I figured that for one point for Europe. You need to send out your best, steeliest guy, your surest thing, to get that first point. Love sent erratic, ephemeral, enigmatic Bubba? Spraying it all over? I didn't get that. I'd have gone with Phil or Keegan or Dufner. But overall, I'd say the Americans made so few birdies that the ultimate order of play didn't make that much difference.

Morfit: I agree. At no time did I see Bubba winning that match. It just seemed so unlikely, especially in light of him losing to the Mechanic in singles in 2010. Donald is a bit more to handle than Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Godich: So who would you have sent out first. I've heard Bradley and Dufner, among others. Are you really going to put a rookie in that spot?

Morfit: I'd have maybe sent out Zach first. He's a pretty steely dude, and if he loses you know he's going to at least make it close.

Herre: Dufner, yes. Bradley, no. Playing on emotion is hard to sustain. I agree with Vans on Bubba. The rah-rah guys can go south in a hurry. Bradley was a star for two days, and just another player on Sunday. You want to be more like Fred Couples, no apparent highs or lows. Dufner has that quality.

Gorant: If you believe in your picks, go Furyk to start. Good match with Donald.

Shipnuck: Zach. You need a fighter. And someone who can save shots around the green. Sounds like Luke, no?

Tell us what you think in the comments section on Facebook: What was the key moment that decided the outcome of the Cup?

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