Europe maintained their Ryder Cup stranglehold over the United States with a crushing five-point victory on Sunday as rookie Jamie Donaldson had the honour of securing the decisive point to make it eight wins in the last 10 matches.
Starting the day 10-6 up, Europe needed four points to retain the trophy they won after coming back from the same score two years ago and got there with plenty to spare, winning the singles battle 6-1/2 - 5-1/2 for an overall 16-1/2 - 11-1/2 victory.
Rory McIlroy set the tone with a 5&4 demolition of Rickie Fowler and Graeme McDowell soon added a second point.
American rookie Patrick Reed completed a wonderful personal weekend when he got his side’s first point on the board, with Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar also victorious, but there was no real tension around Gleneagles as Europe were well placed in so many other matches.
Martin Kaymer, who sunk the putt to complete the Miracle of Medinah two years ago, chipped in for an eagle to beat Bubba Watson 4&2 and Justin Rose, Europe’s stand-out performer with four points from five matches, came back from four down to halve with Hunter Mahan.
Then began the biennial Ryder Cup game of trying to work out who would secure the decisive point, and it turned out to be the 38-year-old Welshman Donaldson, who never trailed all day.
Four up with four to play he had already ensured Europe would at least half the match and retain the cup but he made sure he finished in style by hitting a stunning approach to within two feet on the 15th.
Unsure whether to concede the putt, the match and the Ryder Cup, his opponent Keegan Bradley looked to his captain Tom Watson, who said: "Pick it up. They've won."
Those simple words, delivered with the customary dignity of one of the most respected men in the game, sparked the usual pandemonium of celebration as the green disappeared beneath a mass of humanity.
"It's unbelievable," said Donaldson, who won three points out of three over the weekend.
"You can't put words to it. Just a perfect yardage and wedge shot of my life to close the game out."
Victorious captain Paul McGinley, who sunk the putt that won the cup for Europe in 2002, said: "It's been a real honour to get these 12 players, they have all been colossus, and all of them, the caddies, the backroom team, five vice-captains, it's been a huge team effort."
"The Ryder Cup has evolved. I've seen the mistakes we've made over the years and I've changed things a little bit.
"This sense of pride for the players and the happiness of the people in the stands, that is what you do it for. It is not the same as playing and I told the players to enjoy it because these days go quick."
Watson, who remains the last man to lead the U.S. to victory on foreign soil 21 years ago, was out-thought by McGinley and was already coming in for widespread criticism for his tactics even before the final match ended.
"We made them think about us early on in the singles and then they turned it on," he said. "They are stacked with great players, but we came in here thinking we could beat them," he said.
"The foursomes play is what separated the two teams."
Europe's combined 7-1 victory in the two foursomes sessions, after losing both fourballs, indeed gave them the cushion they wanted, and though there was some red on the board after the early holes on Sunday, it all soon turned blue for the visitors in every sense.
McDowell, sent out first by McGinley because of his fighting spirit, needed to summon all of it as he fell three holes down after nine holes to inspired rookie Jordan Spieth but he fought back to secure a 2&1 victory and give Europe their second point moments after McIlroy had dusted Fowler.
The world number one stamped his authority from the start and after four birdies and an eagle he was five up after six holes and cruised home.
"I knew I needed to get off to a fast start and I knew what was expected of me as one of the leaders of the team," said McIlroy after a superlative display following two scratchy days of pairs play.
"I was really up for it today, more than in the final rounds of the majors I won earlier this year and this is the icing on the cake."
There were further European points from Sergio Garcia, who beat Jim Furyk, and Ian Poulter and Victor Dubuisson, who halved their matches.
It was not all doom and gloom for the U.S. as rookie Jimmy Walker completed a fine personal weekend by beating stalwart Lee Westwood, Kuchar hammered Thomas Bjorn and Mickelson saw off Stephen Gallacher.
However, when the dust has settled, Watson's team were well beaten, again, as the domination that brought the United States 12 wins and a draw in 13 Ryder Cups up to 1983 fades even deeper into the memory.