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1999 Ryder Cup

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Justin Leonard 1999 Ryder Cup Putt

Justin Leonard exults as his long putt across the 17th green finds the cup in his singles match against Jose Maria Olazabal. It was the key putt in Team USA's victory.

Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images
Score: United States 14.5, Europe 13.5
Site: The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
Captains: Europe - Mark James; USA - Ben Crenshaw
Europe was on a 2-match winning streak entering the 1999 Ryder Cup, and after the first two days of competition it appeared Europe would make it three wins in a row. Team Europe lead Team USA 10-6 after two days. No team had ever come back from a 4-point deficit entering singles matches to win.

You know what happened. The USA did just that, winning 8.5 of the available 12 singles points, claiming the 1-point victory.

Europe captain Mark James kept three of his players - Jean van de Velde, Andrew Coltart and Jarmo Sandelin - on the bench the first two days. They didn't play until the Sunday Singles session. All three were among the first seven players in Team Europe's singles matches, along with Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Jesper Parnevik and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

All seven lost their singles matches. Davis Love III beat Van de Velde 6 and 5; Phil Mickelson beat Sandelin 4 and 3; and Tiger Woods beat Coltart 3 and 2.

Still, the matches neared the end with Team USA still needing a crucial half-point to secure the necessary 14.5 points to win. Had the score ended in a tie, Europe would have retained that cup.

That half-point came in Justin Leonard's match against Jose Maria Olazabal, which ended with the players halving the match. Many believe Leonard won that match, but in fact the long, snaking putt he made that set off a wild American celebration happened on the 17th hole - that putt all but assured Leonard of halving his match (Olazabal still had his own long putt attempt, which he eventually missed), and the U.S. side of winning the Cup.

The behavior of the American team and American fans was the subject of much criticism during and after the 1999 Ryder Cup. After Leonard's clinching putt, the Americans had a celebratory scrum on the putting green, even though Olazabal was still waiting to putt. That scene still rankles European players and fans who witnessed it.

And the American fans at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., were heard throughout the match berating European players, particularly Colin Montgomerie. During the Montgomerie-Payne Stewart singles match, Stewart tried multiple times to scold the rowdier, ruder fans, and at the conclusion apologized to Montgomerie for the invective directed at him by fans.

Speaking of Stewart, the 1999 Ryder Cup was the last tournament he played before his death in a plane crash one month later.

The 1999 Ryder Cup was the last one played on the odd-numbered-year schedule. After the first Ryder Cup in 1927, the matches were played every other year, which meant being played in odd-numbered years. The next Ryder Cup was scheduled for 2001, but the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States caused its postponement until 2002. So Ryder Cups after 1999 switched to even-numbered years.

Team Members
• Europe: Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Paul Lawrie, Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Jarmo Sandelin, Jean van de Velde, Lee Westwood, Andrew Coltart, Jesper Parnevik
• USA: David Duval, Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard, Hal Sutton, Davis Love III, Jeff Maggert, Phil Mickelson, Mark O'Meara, Payne Stewart, Tiger Woods, Steve Pate, Tom Lehman

Day 1 Results:

Foursomes
• Paul Lawrie/Colin Montgomerie, Europe, def. David Duval/Phil Mickelson, U.S., 3 and 2
• Sergio Garcia/Jesper Parnevik, Europe, def. Tom Lehman/Tiger Woods, U.S., 2 and 1
• Davis Love III/Payne Stewart, U.S., halved with Padraig Harrington/Miguel Angel Jimenez, Europe
• Jeff Maggert/Hal Sutton, U.S., def. Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Europe, 3 and 2
Fourballs
• Sergio Garcia/Jesper Parnevik, Europe, def. Jim Furyk/Phil Mickelson, U.S.
• Justin Leonard/Davis Love III, U.S., halved with Colin Montgomerie/Paul Lawrie, Europe
• Miguel Angel Jimenez/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe, def. Jeff Maggert/Hal Sutton, U.S., 2 and 1
• Darren Clarke/Lee Westwood, Europe, def. David Duval/Tiger Woods, U.S.

Day 2 Results:

Foursomes
• Jeff Maggert/Hal Sutton, U.S., def. Colin Montgomerie/Paul Lawrie, Europe, 1-up
• Darren Clarke/Lee Westwood, Europe, def. Jim Furyk/Mark O'Meara, U.S., 3 and 2
• Steve Pate/Tiger Woods, U.S., def. Miguel Angel Jimenez/Padraig Harrington, Europe, 1-up
• Sergio Garcia/Jesper Parnevik, Europe, def. Justin Leonard/Payne Stewart, U.S., 3 and 2
Foursomes
• Phil Mickelson/Tom Lehman, U.S., def. Darren Clarke/Lee Westwood, Europe, 2 and 1
• Sergio Garcia/Jesper Parnevik, Europe, halved with Davis Love III/David Duval, U.S.
• Justin Leonard/Hal Sutton, U.S., halved with Miguel Angel Jimenez/Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe
• Paul Lawrie/Colin Montgomerie, Europe, def. Steve Pate/Tiger Woods, U.S., 2 and 1

Day 3 Results:

Singles
• Tom Lehman def. Lee Westwood, 3 and 2
• Davis Love III def. Jean Van de Velde, 6 and 5
• Phil Mickelson def. Jarmo Sandelin, 4 and 3
• Hal Sutton def. Darren Clarke, 4 and 2
• David Duval def. Jesper Parnevik, 5 and 4
• Tiger Woods def. Andrew Coltart, 3 and 2
• Steve Pate def. Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2 and 1
• Padraig Harrington def. Mark O'Meara, 1-up
• Jim Furyk def. Sergio Garcia, 4 and 3
• Paul Lawrie def. Jeff Maggert, 4 and 3
• Justin Leonard vs. Jose Maria Olazabal, halved
• Colin Montgomerie def. Payne Stewart, 1-up

Player Records (wins-losses-halves)

Europe
Darren Clarke, 1-3-1
Sergio Garcia, 3-1-1
Padraig Harrington, 1-1-1
Miguel Angel Jimenez, 1-2-2
Paul Lawrie, 3-1-1
Colin Montgomerie, 3-1-1
Jose Maria Olazabal, 1-0-2
Jarmo Sandelin, 0-1-0
Jean van de Velde, 0-1-0
Lee Westwood, 2-3-0
Andrew Coltart, 0-1-0
Jesper Parnevik, 3-1-1

USA
David Duval, 1-2-1
Jim Furyk, 1-2-0
Justin Leonard, 0-1-3
Hal Sutton, 3-1-1
Davis Love III, 1-0-3
Jeff Maggert, 2-2-0
Phil Mickelson, 2-2-0
Mark O'Meara, 0-2-0
Payne Stewart, 0-2-1
Tiger Woods, 2-3-0
Steve Pate, 2-1-0
Tom Lehman, 2-1-0

1997 Ryder Cup | 2002 Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup Results

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