CHASKA, Minn. (AP) - There were birdies flying far and wide across Hazeltine on Sunday, and Europe's Justin Rose wasn't too happy about it.
The Olympic champion blistered the course setup, calling it "incredibly weak" and unbecoming of the event it was hosting. Rose played at Hazeltine at the 2009 PGA Championship and said the course "can be as tough as you want it to be."
"The pin on 17 is an absolute joke," Rose said. "It's a 9-iron into the middle of the green and you stiff it. So with a match on the line, you kind of feel like you want a player to step up a little bit more than they have to."
Bubba Watson has two green jackets and is ranked No. 7 in the world. For him, none of that compares to winning the Ryder Cup on Sunday. And Watson didn't even play.
"This is the greatest thing I've done in golf," the vice captain said after the U.S. beat Europe 17-11. "I'm so happy for this team. This team was amazing. They took me in their arms and let me be a part of it."
Watson's graciousness came after he was surprisingly left off of the playing roster by captain Davis Love III. But Love's decision was validated when captain's picks Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar combined to go 7-6-0 at Hazeltine. The seven wins were the most by a set of captain's picks in Ryder Cup history.
After the initial disappointment, Watson accepted Love's invitation to be a vice captain.
"A guy like him, showing up here, putting his ego to the side and saying, 'I want to be a part of this,'" Brandt Snedeker said. "And he's the reason why I got around today. He's the reason why I got my point today. He was in my ear all day."
As one of the most well-known vice captains in Ryder Cup history, Tiger Woods spent the week in Minnesota trying to help the Americans shake an ugly losing streak in the event while also trying to keep as low a profile as possible.
Woods helped captain Davis Love III with several key decisions over the weekend, including keeping Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed together for the afternoon fourball play Saturday. It all added up to a victory on Sunday and Woods said he could not have been happier to be involved.
"We were a team. Whether I was playing or not, I was part of a team," Woods said. "And our team won."
Victorious U.S. captain Davis Love III says he is proud of his team for handling all the pressure that was on it over the last two years.
After the Americans wrapped up their first Ryder Cup victory since 2008, Love said the work and preparation that went in to assembling this team helped lay the groundwork for success that eluded them so many times before.
"I'm just proud of these guys. They had a lot of pressure on them for the last two years," Love said. "Every time we picked a guy, they had more and more pressure, more and more questions. I'm just so proud of the way they played."
It was a special redemption for Love, who captained the team at Medinah that gave up a 10-6 lead on the final day in 2012.
The United States has won the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008.
Ryan Moore two-putted on No. 18 for a 1-up victory over Lee Westwood, giving the Americans a 15-10 lead that sealed the win over Europe.
The victory completed a two-year soul search for the Americans after they were routed in Gleneagles for a third straight defeat. They formed a task force to address the shortcomings and delivered an emphatic performance at Hazeltine.
The Americans needed just five points in the 12 singles matches Sunday.
The U.S. wins started with Patrick Reed's thrilling 1-up victory over Rory McIlroy. Rickie Fowler edged Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker beat Andy Sullivan, Brooks Koepka routed Danny Willett and three matches were still being played.