STRAFFAN, Ireland (AP) – Darren Clarke provided the emotion, Colin Montgomerie the leadership and Sergio Garcia the inspirational golf as the Europeans handed the Americans another lopsided Ryder Cup beating.

Ian Woosnam’s players scored a 18-9 triumph on Sunday to make it three victories in a row and five of the last six.

“If it wasn’t for a very difficult Sunday at Brookline, we’d have been six out of six,” Montgomerie said. “So that’s fairly dominant.”

At Brookline, the Americans dominated the singles to erase a 10-6 deficit to win the 1999 match, their last victory and only one since 1993.

Sunday, the Americans managed only 31/2 points.

“There are so many players. We could have had two teams out there,” European captain Woosnam said of the victory at The K Club.

“I am not saying we would have got this result, but it shows the potential in European golf. We have got strength in depth for a long time to come, and future Ryder Cups look great for Europe.”

Garcia and Lee Westwood collected four points each. Clarke won all three of his matches, and Paul Casey, whose ace finished off a foursome Saturday, was unbeaten in four.

Woosnam, the former Masters champion who got his captain’s picks and his lineups just right, almost was drowned in champagne by his players and followed Clarke’s example by downing a glass of Guinness in one shot.

“I can’t say enough about my team. They have been absolutely fantastic,” Woosnam said. “I was on edge for a while, but I got more and more confident the more blue went on the board. Every single person here has contributed at least a half or a point which is unbelievable.”

Montgomerie, Clarke, Casey, Luke Donald, Henrik Stenson, David Howell, Jose Maria Olazabal and Westwood all won their singles matches as Europe won all five sessions. Although Stewart Cink and Tiger Woods kept the Americans in contention early, by the time Scott Verplank recorded the third U.S. win of the day, the Europeans already were celebrating.

The final day appeared to set up for Clarke, whose wife died of cancer six weeks ago, to hole the winning putt. Instead it was Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, winner of the BMW International Open three weeks ago, who took Europe to 15 points with a 4-and-3 victory over Vaughn Taylor after Luke Donald’s short putt at 17 had made sure the trophy wasn’t going back to the United States.

Montgomerie started the Europeans on the right path, beating David Toms in the day’s opening match. Despite his lack of success in majors, Monty always has raised his game for the Ryder Cup, and Woosnam sent him out first to set the stage. The Scot didn’t disappoint, beating beat Toms by one hole despite giving the American a glimmer of hope by finding a greenside bunker at the last. Montgomerie didn’t panic and pitched to five feet for a matchwinning putt that elevated his Ryder Cup singles record to a perfect 6-0.

“Monty is simply a leader on the course and off it,” said Westwood, who beat Chris DiMarco by two holes. “He’s proven today to be an inspiration when he goes out first.”

Although Garcia was beaten 4 and 3 by Stewart Cink, he already had done his job for the team.

Two years ago when the Europeans beat the Americans by the same score, the young Spaniard won four and halved his other match. This time, his long accurate hitting set up plenty of birdie opportunities all three days, and he won all four of his matches in fourballs and foursomes.

Sunday, Garcia attributed his singles loss to Cink’s brilliant putting rather than a dramatic slump in his own play.

“I have never seen anything like it,” Garcia said. “When I got to five down, I thought should I make this short and go and help my partners?”

AP-ES-09-24-06 1643EDT


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