The USA was heavy favorite and supposed to win comfortably on home soil, but Europe led 10-6 going into Sunday's singles at Brookline Country Club in 1999.
Despite the precarious position, USA captain Ben Crenshaw addressed reporters Saturday evening, saying he "had a good feeling about this."
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His side began strongly Sunday, capturing the first six matches on the course and then added a seventh win to make it 13-10.
The tension mounted for the groups lower down the order as USA edged to 14-12, needing just half a point to secure an historic win.
Justin Leonard had fought back from four holes down and was level with Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal playing the 17th.
When the American drained a 40-foot birdie putt, his teammates invaded the green in celebration with Olazabal still waiting to putt. The Spaniard missed, ensuring Leonard at least a half in the match. USA ended up 14.5-13.5 victors in a remarkable comeback.
The scenes on the 17th were criticized by the Europeans and the bad-tempered event earned the tag line "Battle of Brookline."
Watch CNN World Sport's report from 1999 at the top of the page.