Lehman: 'I don't think there is a European team that ever played better'

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The man who holed the winning putt, Henrik Stenson, was not surprisingly keen to deflect the glory on to his team-mates. The Swede, who secured the victory when he completed a 4 and 3 win over Vaughn Taylor, said: "Obviously I'm delighted but the others and the team are all that matters. The boys have been fantastic all week. To be part of this European team, it's my first Ryder Cup, in Ireland has been fantastic."

Luke Donald, who beat Chad Campbell 2 and 1, said the whole European team had been focused on completing an emphatic victory. "Chad beat me quite comprehensively two years ago but it was not about revenge" Donald said. "It was about 14 1/ 2 points. We won every other round on both days and we wanted to go out there and get as many as we could.

"It was a lot easier to play seeing all that blue on the board," Donald added. "We had so much confidence in the team, we believed they would have to do something spectacular to win. We've had 12 great players playing all week. For us not to have got four-and-a-half would have been tough."

Colin Montgomerie said: "I'll miss this when it's gone. That's eight now and I don't know if I am due a ninth." Of the atmosphere, he said: "If you were at all shaky there was no way you would have managed to hit a ball off that first tee."

Ireland's Paul McGinley was quick to thank the Dublin crowds for their support and paid tribute to the Europe captain, Ian Woosnam. "I'm very, very proud," McGinley said. "They put on a great show. Monty was great, No 1 again, and all credit goes to the captain. I'm very proud of everyone in the team. The Belfry [2002] was a wonderful experience but this makes me more proud, being part of a winning team and in my home country. I'm so proud to be Irish and of the way the Irish have conducted themselves this week."

McGinley halved his match with J J Henry by conceding a 20-foot putt that cost the home side the chance of a record victory. When asked if he realised the importance of conceding, McGinley said: "Yes, it has crossed my mind on several occasions and I tell you what, it's going to a few more. The gesture was made in the best of faith, though. I don't want to make a big deal of it. We really thumped them anyway."

"It shows what a gentleman Paul is," Henry said. "We were neck and neck anyway but I take my hat off to him for what he did."

Woosnam added in jest: "I'll have a word with Paul later, it could have been a record."

The US captain, Tom Lehman, took defeat graciously. "I take my hat off to the European team," he said. "They played incredibly and were inspired and the crowd were phenomenal and gave them momentum. I don't think there is a European team that has ever played better. Our team came ready - but I guess we weren't quite ready enough. Credit where it's due: the Europeans played better.

Lehman also felt the spirit had been good. "The players respected each other - it was a well played match," he said. "Everything we did was for a reason and with the best intention - but you have to put the ball in the hole and that didn't work out very well for us. They never failed to make us pay for a mistake."

Tiger Woods' caddie Steve Williams made a mistake by dropping the world No 1's nine iron into a lake on the seventh when cleaning it. "It was him or the nine-iron," Woods said. "He chose the nine-iron." It was only an issue once - on 11 - when Woods was 127 yards for his approach, "the perfect number" for his nine-iron. Later, a diver retrieved the club, and Woods got it back on No 15. "Stevie dried the grip and it was fine," Woods said.

Sunday best: Highlights of the final day from the K Club

Shot of the day

Scott Verplank's tee shot at the par-three 14th

A hole in one is a hole in one, even when it doesn't matter. The last match of the day was irrelevant when Verplank pulled his three-iron out at the 213-yard 14th. Swish, plonk, plop. So, you've got that for a half, Padraig.

Fluff of the day

Henrik Stenson at the 15th

If the Swede had missed his four-footer on the 15th then Darren Clarke would have holed the putt that won the Ryder Cup. Stenson's aim was nerveless and his winning point clinched the triumph. But his timing was dreadful.

Bizarre moment of the day

Colin Montgomerie at the 11th

Heading for the drink, Monty bowed his head before a clatter reverberated around the course. Monty's ball hit a rock and bounced back towards the green. A grinning Monty made his par.

Quote of the day

'Can I have 12 wild cards and just take this team over?'

Nick Faldo plans his 2008 captaincy

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