But they still have the UBS Cup.
Captain Arnold Palmer and company kept the cup in American hands for the fourth straight year, winning the annual competition over the Rest of the World team, 14-10.
The U.S. once again dominated the singles session ' as they had done in each of the first three contests. They won 7 of the available 12 points, turning a one-point overnight lead into a four-point victory.
Our guys just played really good golf, said a proud Palmer, who is 6-0-1 as a captain in team competition. Today was probably the best example of how well they played.'
Each member of the winning side earned $150,000, while the losing members pocketed $100,000 each.
The U.S. has now won or retained the UBS Cup each of the four editions.
The turning point in the overall match came when American Raymond Floyd earned a half-point against Zimbabwean Mark McNulty.
Floyd overcame a 3-down deficit with three holes to play. McNulty bogeyed 16 and double bogeyed 17, while Floyd birdied 18.
That kept the Americans ahead, 10-9 ' needing 12 points to retain the cup. And with Tom Watson and Fred Couples already assured of a half-point in their matches, Scott Hoch secured retention with a 2-and-1 win over Carl Mason.
It marked the second straight year that Hoch had made the deciding putt.
When Couples closed out Montgomerie, 5 and 3, the U.S. was guaranteed outright victory.
Despite the loss ' his third as ROW captain, Player was pleased with his teams performance.
Congratulations to the U.S., but we're creeping up closer,' said Player. 'Maybe next year we can entice Vijay Singh and some others to compete -- if we can just get them to give up their millions for a week.'
The days scoring started with Player defeating Palmer, 6 and 5. The win gave Player a 2-1-0 singles record in this event against his longtime friend and rival.
That wasnt the only Sunday blowout.
Craig Stadler holed his approach shot on the first hole for eagle and never took his foot off of the right pedal in defeating Ian Woosnam, 5 and 4.
I was 7 under through 11 holes with a bogey ' kind of overkill, he said. Same thing thats been happening over the years ' kept aiming at the hole and it kept going in.
Jay Haas, who said he was more relaxed Sunday after hearing that his son, Bill, had advanced into the final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, thumped Barry Lane, 5 and 3.
Sam Torrance avenged his 2002 singles loss to Curtis Strange, winning 5 and 3 over his former Ryder Cup counterpart.
Tom Kite birdied the 17th en route to earning a 1-up win over Rodger Davis, while Peter Senior earned the same margin of victory over Fred Funk.
At this point, the overall score was 9 -8 , in favor of the U.S. McNulty could have pulled the ROW team even, but three-putted 16, hit his approach shot in the water on 17 and watched helplessly as Floyd drained a 10-foot birdie at the last to keep the Americans in command.
I just kept hanging in there, hanging in there, said Floyd. Its incredible how match play can swing.
Montgomerie shared in McNultys helpless feeling.
He made three birdies and no bogeys over 15 holes and was crushed by an unconscious Couples, who had six birdies and one eagle in his victory.
Ive done that myself in these competitions, said Montgomerie, who is usually the one making all of the putts and breaking the spirit of his opponents. Being at the receiving end, it is unbelievable.
Montgomerie is 5-0-2 in Ryder Cup singles, but 0-1-1 in this competition. Couples went 3-0-0 in his UBS debut.
Tom Watson, the Cassique Course designer, defeated Sandy Lyle, 1-up. Hale Irwin and John Chillas halved their match.
The tournament finished on a high note, as recent Ryder Cup captains Hal Sutton and Bernhard Langer displayed the tournaments spirit of sportsmanship.
Sutton made a 20-foot birdie putt at the last and then conceded Langers 6-foot birdie to end the match in a tie.
'That's what this event is all about,' said Player.