Colin Montgomerie shared the credit for Europe's Ryder Cup win with his players and vice-captains and admitted the result was clinched in Sunday's session.
Graeme McDowell's 3&1 win over Hunter Mahan, on an historic extra day yesterday, ultimately proved decisive but it was the contest's third session - in which Europe took 5 1/2 points from six across two foursomes and four fourballs - which set up an eventual 14 1/2-13 1/2 win at Celtic Manor.
Montgomerie told Sky Sports News: "We won this Ryder Cup on Sunday night by having that fantastic session of five-and-a-half to a half. That's where we won the Ryder Cup, it wasn't actually yesterday.
"But we needed to maintain that momentum, we knew the Americans would come out strong and they did. Lee Westwood was put out first, he's our strongest player, and he lost (2&1 to Steve Stricker) and you thought 'hang on a minute, this might not go the way we were hoping for'.
"There were some great results. Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 46, to come through that way (4&3 against Bubba Watson), Luke Donald's victory (over Jim Furyk) down the last hole - and of course G-Mac (McDowell).
"To hold him as 12th man was a good decision by us all. He is the Wales Open champion on this course, he's the current US Open champion - he was put there for a reason because he can handle himself in that situation.
"That birdie on 16 will live in my memory, and live in all our memories, for a long time."
Montgomerie has famously never won any of the sport's four major championships during his long career but, asked if he would swap this success for such a title, he told BBC Radio Five Live: "No, not at all, this was the culmination of many years. I wouldn't swap any of my career for anything."
Despite the experience, though, he insists he will not be tempted to push for a second stint as captain.
"The baton will be passed to one of my vice-captains in two years' time when we head off to the States to try to retain this wonderful trophy," he continued on Sky Sports News.
"That's it for me with the Ryder Cup, unless I try to qualify as a player."
And he tipped Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal as his successor, adding: "He's now 45, it seems to be a young man's game now - I'm 47 and that's young to be a captain, and he'll be 47 in two years' time.
"The passion he brings to any team room - he was Nick Faldo's vice-captain two years ago, he came on late but he was my vice-captain, and I think he's everybody's choice to retain this trophy in America in two years' time.
"He watched what was done this time, he has notes over his playing career the same as mine - we both played eight Ryder Cups, a lot of them together - he has a lot of experience, as much as I have, and I am sure he will do as good, if not a better, job than I did."