Ryder Cup: McIlroy inspires European victory as Westwood hails McGinley

Lee Westwood urged future European Ryder Cup captains to follow Paul McGinley’s example after the Irishman led the home side to victory at Gleneagles.

Europe's Lee Westwood (left) and Jamie Donaldson pose with The Ryder Cup on day three of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles
Europe's Lee Westwood (left) and Jamie Donaldson pose with The Ryder Cup on day three of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles

Inspired by the performances of Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, Europe won by five points to record an eighth victory in the last 10 contests.

And while that statistic prompted Phil Mickelson to call for a reversion to the successful approach of 2008 United States captain Paul Azinger - right in front of losing skipper Tom Watson - Westwood said Europe should keep the template perfected by McGinley.

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“I think Paul got a great template and a model for captains going forward,” said Westwood, who has played under nine different captains and won two points from four matches at Gleneagles, taking him past Seve Ballesteros on the all-time points-scoring list.

“I think you could base your captaincy and your future captain around the way Paul did it this week.”

World No 1 McIlroy led by example as Europe won the 40th Ryder Cup after being given an early scare at Gleneagles.

The home side were overwhelming favourites with a 10-6 overnight lead, but saw McDowell three down after five to Jordan Spieth in the opening match and the unbeaten Justin Rose four down after six to Hunter Mahan.

At one point the United States were ahead in six early matches but McIlroy was an approximate eight under par in thrashing Rickie Fowler 5&4 to put the first European point on the board and fellow Northern Irishman McDowell won five out of six holes from the 10th to complete a remarkable 2&1 victory.

American rookie Patrick Reed reduced the deficit by beating Henrik Stenson on the 18th, but US Open champion Martin Kaymer chipped in for an eagle on the 16th to complete a comfortable win over Bubba Watson and make the score 13-7.

Victories for Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar over Stephen Gallacher and Thomas Bjorn respectively kept the contest alive before Rose claimed an unlikely half against Mahan thanks to eight birdies from the seventh, the last of which was conceded after Mahan made a hash of the 18th.

That put the home side one point away from outright victory - an eighth in the last 10 contests - and the honour of sealing it fell to Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who was already four up with four to play when he hit his approach to the 15th to within inches of the hole to beat Keegan Bradley.

Lee Westwood, who won two points out of three alongside Donaldson in the foursomes and fourballs, was beaten 3&2 by Jimmy Walker in the singles on Sunday.

Walker was seven under par in claiming the win.