Love will likely be second-guessed for the next two years on his lineup, but for most of the afternoon it looked as though it was playing out to plan. The Europeans were winning points early — and lots of them — but Furyk was holding steady in the eighth match and Stricker and Woods were holding their own in the final two matches.
Furyk, who admitted the moment got the better of him this year when he fell apart after leading the U.S. Open on the back nine, had made four birdies against a single bogey and was 1 up on Sergio Garcia when the two got to the tee of the tricky par-3 17th hole. But he put his tee shot in an awkward position in the back bunker and couldn't get up-and-down, and then compounded his error by hitting his tee shot on the 18th hole into a fairway bunker.
“It's been a low year,” Furyk said. “I've played very well this year, but haven't closed the door. I'm pretty sure Sergio would tell you that I out played him today but I didn't win and I lost the match. I've had a lot of that happen this year.”
Furyk put his second shot on the back fringe of the green but ran his first putt 6 feet by. After Garcia two-putted for his par, Furyk had his putt for a half-point that would prove crucial to the U.S. chances of winning the cup.
After looking the putt over for a long time from several angles, Furyk missed it to the right.
“I hit it what I thought was right edge or outside, and it stayed there the whole time and caught a piece of the hole,” Furyk said.
By the time Stricker got to the 17th green, the outcome of the matches depended on what he and Woods did. If they could get a point and a half out of their two matches, the U.S. would win the cup.
But Stricker couldn't get up and down from just in back of the green, going 1-down to Martin Kaymer. Stricker salvaged par on the 18th with an 8-footer, but Kaymer's par putt clinched the cup for Europe.
“We'll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and we're resilient,” Stricker said. “As golfers you have got to be. It's the nature of the game. We'll be disappointed for sure, but we'll all be all right.”