Europe win Ryder Cup
Europe celebrate a third consecutive Ryder Cup success.Getty

Europe have successfully retained the Ryder Cup against the United States with an exhilarating victory at Gleneagles.

Paul McGinley's side entered the final day with a 10-6 lead after a dominant display in Saturday's foursome sessions and sealed the trophy through Welsh rookie Jamie Donaldson, who secured a 4 & 3 victory over Keegan Bradley to put his side out of reach with a score of 14.5.

Europe claimed more points in the final four pairings of the afternoon to confirm a final score of 16.5-11.5. They have now won eight of the last 10 competitions, including the last three.

Paul McGinley  and Jamie Donaldson
Paul McGinley and Jamie Donaldson celebrate their success.Getty

World number one Rory McIlroy capped a wonderful 2014 with a flawless performance against Rickie Fowler, scoring seven birdies as he eased to a 5 & 4 victory to secure Europe's first point of the afternoon.

His fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell mastered a wonderful comeback against Ryder Cup debutant Jordan Spieth to complete his 2 & 1 win. The 21-year-old American was three up after five as he took early control of the match, but McDowell never lost his focus, overtaking his opponent on the 14th and sealing the win on 17.

Patrick Reed, who assumed the role as the pantomime villain after his exuberant celebrations in front of the European crowds, pulled a point back for the United States when he capitalised on a miss from three feet from Henrik Stenson.

But the gap was soon widened again when Martin Kaymer brilliantly chipped from off the green to defeat a hapless Bubba Watson 4 & 2.

Justin Rose struggled to replicate his imperious form from the first two days against Hunter Mahan with the American holding a four point lead after 7.

But the 2013 US Open winner summoned another terrific fight back and earned half a point for Europe following a tight run-in.

Phil Mickelson would pull another point back for United States to leave the score at 13½-9½. Four up against Bradley, Donaldson missed a putt to seal the win on the 14th but made sure of it in style on the 15th, sparking wonderful scenes of celebration amongst the European contingent.

Captain McGinley said: "Proud is how I feel. Everyone has been huge - the player, the caddies, the vice-captains, all the backroom staff - it has been a huge team effort.

Paul McGinley
Getty

"The pleasure you get when you look at the expression on a face like Jamie's. A big factor was coming out jumping in the foursomes, wave after wave after wave. We had a plan and structure with three or four big ideas and we kept coming back to those. That proved right.

"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."

After Donaldson's win sparked celebrations, Sergio Garcia beat Jim Furyk one up, Ian Poulter halved with Webb Simpson, Lee Westwood lost 3 & 2 to Jimmy Walker and Victor Dubuisson halved with Zach Johnson.