The European team won the competition by a margin of 15½ to 12½, the largest margin of victory in the Ryder Cup since the European team won 16½ to 11½ in 1985, also played at The Belfry. Both teams were tied at 8 points going into the Sunday singles matches. Sam Torrance had put most of his best players out early while Curtis Strange had opted to do the opposite. Momentum swung for Europe and after Phillip Price defeated Phil Mickelson 3 & 2, Europe needed ½ point for victory. The decisive ½ point was secured by Paul McGinley in his match against Jim Furyk after he holed a 10 foot par putt on the 18th hole.
The event was originally scheduled for 28–30 September 2001, but was postponed one year due to the September 11 attacks. It was also decided to thereafter play matches in even-numbered years instead of odd-numbered, pushing the already-scheduled 2003 and 2005 editions to 2004 and 2006 respectively. This in turn caused a corresponding change in schedules for the Presidents Cup, Solheim Cup and Seve Trophy (all of which are played in years the Ryder Cup is not played). The Presidents Cup was in turn delayed by a year, while both the Solheim Cup and Seve Trophy played their 2002 matches as scheduled then subsequently started playing in odd-numbered years in 2003. The first official Junior Ryder Cup, which was also scheduled for 2001, was also postponed to 2002.
This was the second of four consecutive victories at home by Europe, a streak that remains intact through 2010.