The European team's triumph was signalled with the now almost obligatory tears. They had also flowed as Howard Clark - who had a hole-in-one at the 11th - David Gilford and Nick Faldo pulled off last-hole victories to swing the match Europe's way.
Bernard Gallacher, who is due to step down as Europe's captain, was in no mood to single out particular players for praise. "All the team played majestically," Gallacher said. "This is almost getting too much to bear. People were writing me off and the team off, but I thought we could win."
Walton - playing in the biennial tournament for the first time - was three up against Jay Haas with three holes to play when he lost the 16th and 17th. That left him having to halve the last to win back the trophy the Americans had held since 1991.
The Irishman, who once said he thought the Ryder Cup was destroying players, watched Haas hit a wayward drive which obliged the American to play two more shots to reach the front fringe of the final green. Walton chipped his third shot to about 12 feet and, after Haas overhit his putt, the Irishman left his inches from the hole and the match was conceded.
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