Darren Clarke admitted his European team were outplayed by the United States as they gave up the Ryder Cup for the first time in eight years.
A woeful start at Hazeltine left Europe 4-0 down after Friday's foursomes and they never recovered to take the lead in the tournament.
It left Clarke needing another miracle like the one he contributed to as a vice-captain at Medinah in 2012 and, despite comfortably winning three of the first five matches out, it was all downhill from there.
It was left to Ryan Moore to pick up the winning point to spark wild celebrations among Davis Love III's team and the raucous home fans.
"We're all bitterly disappointed," Clarke said. "We knew we had a lot to do, but the guys fought hard - there was a lot of blue early.
"But the American guys showed their class again. The better team won."
Despite being up against it from the off and seeing his tail-end rookies fail to fire on Sunday, Clarke had no regrets over his leadership.
He told BBC Sport: "After about an hour and a half there was a lot of blue on the board and that was what we needed to see, but the American guys fought hard and played very, very well.
"I wouldn't have changed anything. I have spoken about this already to my vice-captains and we were confident. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. but even with that we wouldn't have made any changes.
"A putt missed here or a putt holed outside your opponent, that makes all the difference. Unfortunately for us we didn't quite hole them and the Americans did. I couldn't have asked for one ounce more. Davis' team gave everything and that's the passion of the Ryder Cup.
"We will be fighting hard for it again in Paris in two years' time."