Colin Montgomerie’s Ryder Cup reputation remains fully intact… just. Had US Open champion Graeme McDowell failed to secure the point needed on the penultimate green Montgomerie's near legendary status in the biennial team event would now be supplemented by an asterisk, just like his illustrious individual playing career is marred by the gaping hole in his resume where multiple major victories should be. But thankfully for Monty, Hunter Mahan's butchering of the 17th, which came at the end of a tremendous final-day fight back by the Americans, permitted the Europeans the narrowest of wins. The wild scenes that ensued at Celtic Manor after Mahan conceded McDowell's putt weren't a surprise, but after the celebrations had died down you can be sure that Monty, once alone and given time to reflect, will have breathed a huge sigh of relief. Given the European's position that Monday morning, a drawn match (meaning the United States would have retained the Cup) or a loss was unthinkable. Brookline in 1999 was ugly and painful; defeat in Wales would have been soggy and heartbreaking.
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