MEDINAH - An ecstatic Martin Kaymer said he had discovered the true meaning of the Ryder Cup after sinking the decisive putt to cap a sensational comeback victory for Europe over the United States on Sunday.
The German held his nerve to make a five-foot par putt on the final hole of his singles match with Steve Stricker to ensure that Europe retained the trophy they won in Wales two years ago.
He raised his arms up, pumped his fists and then ran into the fairway and jumped into the arms of Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
"It's a feeling I never had before," said Kaymer, a former world number one and major winner.
Kaymer had been out of form before his final day win over Stricker and had sought some advice from his countryman Bernhard Langer, who missed a deciding six-foot putt at the Ryder Cup 21 years ago.
"On Friday I sat down with Bernhard and talked to him a litte bit about the Ryder Cup because my attitude wasn't the right one," Kaymer said.
"But now, after that match today against Steve I know how important the Ryder Cup became and is for Olazabal, and Bernhard helped me so much just to sit down with me and talk about it.
Kaymer won the 2010 PGA Championship in dramatic style, beating Bubba Watson in a three-hole playoff but said winning the Ryder Cup was more special.
"The major was just for myself, but I can see the guys behind me, my brother was here and my father was here," Kaymer said.
"Sergio (Garcia) ran onto the green. It's so much more behind me. Now I know how it really feels to win the Ryder Cup."