Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines - An emotional Paul Casey fought to hold back tears after claiming his first Ryder Cup win since 2006 on Saturday, saying he had "desperately" wanted to return to the matchplay showdown.
After being persuaded to retake a European Tour card by captain Thomas Bjorn in order to be eligible for this year's Ryder Cup in France, he sealed an impressive 3 and 2 victory over Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler alongside Tyrrell Hatton.
"Ask him (Hatton) a question. Let me get my... honestly, let me get my breath," stammered Casey after securing Europe's seventh of eight straight wins at Le Golf National.
The 41-year-old was left out of the side by Colin Montgomerie in 2010 despite being the world number seven, slipping down the rankings after struggling with injuries and poor form.
But he has rediscovered his best over the last four years, and has been in fine fettle this week, having almost inspired a comeback against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas on Friday before reeling off five birdies in the first six holes Saturday.
"Desperately wanted to be back on this team because I know how good it is," said Casey after regaining his composure.
"I mean, all these guys are amazing, and you know, once you're a Ryder Cupper, you're always a Ryder Cupper. I can't tell you how proud I am.
"But it wasn't just sort of to get here and be part of the team, it was to try and win a Ryder Cup back."
Casey became one of only six men in Ryder Cup history to make a hole-in-one at the Ryder Cup at the K Club in 2006 and has now won six points from 11 matches.
"Obviously playing alongside Paul, he's a Ryder Cup legend," added Hatton.
"What a player he is. It was the Casey Express train the front nine. I was just trying to help out when I could."
Casey admitted he had struggled to contain his emotions after the win, but the former world number three said it isn't a rare occurrence for him.
"There was a tear. I was emotional earlier. I've always been a bit that way. I cry in movies, as well," he said.
"Hey, not embarrassed. I care about it. It means an awful lot to me. I'm proud to be on this team and proud to be standing next to those other 11 team-mates and proud to win a point."
Results after Saturday's opening session of the 42nd Ryder Cup between Europe and the United States at Le Golf National:
Europe 8 United States 4
Rory McIlroy/Sergio Garcia (Europe) bt Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) 2 and 1
Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe) bt Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler (USA) 3 and 2
Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) bt Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA) 4 and 3
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) bt Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (Europe) 2 and 1
Henrik Stenson/Justin Rose (Europe) bt Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler (USA) 3 and 2
Rory McIlroy/Ian Poulter (Europe) bt Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson (USA) 4 and 2
Sergio Garcia/Alex Noren (Europe) bt Phil Mickelson/Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 5 and 4
Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) bt Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth (USA) 5 and 4
Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) bt Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (Europe) 1-up
Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler (USA) bt Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (Europe) 4 and 2
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) bt Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe) 1-up
Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) bt Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA) 3 and 1