Behind Europe's stunning Ryder Cup win over U.S.

Phil Mickelson reacts to a shot on the 17th hole during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in Medinah, Ill. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

(CBS News) The European golf team's comeback on Sunday is now being considered the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history.

The team wiped out a 10-6 deficit coming into Sunday, beating the U.S. team for the ninth time in the last 11 tries. It was a stunning collapse for the American squad. Only three of its 12 players won their matches on Sunday.

The Europeans, who at their worst point were down 10-4, won by a final score of 14 (1/2) to 13 (1/2), a feat only matched by the Americans in the 1999 Ryder Cup in Brookline, Mass.

On "CBS This Morning," CBS Sports golf analyst David Feherty said England's Ian Poulter started the recovery on Saturday by birdying the last five holes.

Europe beats U.S. in epic Ryder Cup comeback

"The last two matches for the Europeans looked like they were going to go the wrong way, in which case, you know, it was over," Feherty said. "And it was over anyway at 10-4. But because of the momentum that they came in with, you know, I said that evening, you know, they feel like they are tied 6-10. At that point, I don't think a European team or any team had gone into, you know, the locker room that evening four matches behind and felt so good about themselves."

The European players are winning the Ryder Cup as of late, in Feherty's estimation, because of a shift in thinking. "My generation grew up, my heroes were men like Peter Oosterhuis and Tony Jacklin and Brian Barnes, and Bernard Gallacher, men who were used to losing the Ryder Cup and never won a major on this side of the ditch. This generation grew up with ... (golfers who) started to win the Masters and then, you know, when it became all of Europe instead of just Britain and Ireland, they grew up with the sense that it was not only entirely possible to win the Ryder Cup but to win major tournaments on this side of the Atlantic, as well, so you see there's a total difference in perspective."

The Ryder Cup is unlike any other, Feherty said. It's the most extraordinary event, it's almost like a childlike naivete to it when you're on the playground and nothing else matters except to be able to say, 'na na na na, boo boo, I won'," he said. "To see grown men, back in that sort of, back in that environment, if you like. It gets the crowd into it like no other event in golf can do."

Looking to the U.S.'s Tiger Woods, Feherty said he didn't play well the first morning of the three-day tournament, but played fairly well after, particularly in the singles match. "(He) just ran into a buzz saw with he and his partner."

Feherty, a former European Ryder Cup player, when asked if he was rooting for the Europeans, said, "I was born there. But I've been in this country 19 years. It means the world to me. It means everything to me. And no. I'm an American fan. I support every American team in what they do.

"I wasn't popular. I was twittered to death. And I don't care," Feherty said. "All of my former teammates - and they were fine with it. They understood. They were fine. You know, it's not an issue. I'm just an American and really proud of it."

  • Amanda Cochran

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