United States defeats Europe 19-9 at the Ryder Cup
Exorcising decades worth of Ryder Cup demons, the younger U.S. Team run away with it and post a gaudy, historic final score of 19-9, perhaps signaling a change in the balance of power.
Where do the Americans go from here?
As for Whistling Straits, one might have guessed a blowout was coming. The U.S. Team had 11 of the top 16 players in the Official World Golf Ranking; the European Team had just three.
With so many highlights for the Americans, the only question is which ones stood out most.
Was it Dustin Johnson, the oldest member of the U.S. Team at 37, going 5-0-0? How about Tony Finau holing putts from all over as he and Harris English beat Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy in Four-ball on Saturday? The did-I-just-see-that Brooks/Bryson hug?
Here are the superlatives from the week in Wisconsin.
Dustin Johnson became just the fourth U.S. player to go 5-0-0 in a Ryder Cup. He joined Arnold Palmer (1967), Gardner Dickinson (1967) and Larry Nelson (1979).
Meanwhile, five Europeans didn’t win a single match.
MOST UNFORGETTABLE SHOTS
This will get the crowd going. ?️pic.twitter.com/0Q8p720DNg
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 26, 2021
Bryson DeChambeau’s 417-yard drive at the par-5 fifth on Friday afternoon, setting up a 72-yard pitch and an eagle as he and Scottie Scheffler tied super-duo Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm.
“Well, I knew if it was a little downwind, I could take a unique line, and I luckily was able to have that wind today,” said DeChambeau, who went 2-0-1. It was 20-plus, and I said to myself, all right, I have to aim at the green, so I did. I just aimed at the green and bombs away.”
DeChambeau driving the first green Sunday, a poke of 354 yards – and making the eagle putt.
Jordan Spieth’s moon shot from below the 17th green, the trajectory of which looked like a rocket, after which he did well not to break an ankle or fall in Lake Michigan. “Once I started moving, I was like, I’ve got to keep moving until I find a flat spot,” he said. “Yeah, it’s kind of one of those shots that you practice as a kid for fun, and you don’t ultimately want to have it.”
Tyrrell Hatton’s seven-foot birdie putt on 18 as he and Jon Rahm salvaged a tie against Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler in a Four-ball match Friday afternoon.
Shane Lowry’s 11-footer for par as he and Tyrrell Hatton preserved a 1-up victory over Harris English and Tony Finau in a Four-ball match Saturday afternoon.
A man of the people. @Paul_Casey pic.twitter.com/DGDrGH33Io
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 25, 2021
Paul Casey climbing into the stands behind the first tee to dance and sing with European fans.
The two teams lined up to shake hands after the match had been decided Sunday.
WORST 360-DEGREE LIP-OUT
Viktor Hovland at the 10th hole as he tied his match against Collin Morikawa.
Shane Lowry at the ninth hole in his 4-and-2 singles loss to Patrick Cantlay.
Jordan Spieth at the 13th hole in his and Brooks Koepka’s Four-ball loss to Garcia and Rahm.
Captain’s pick Scottie Scheffler, ranked 21st in the world, making birdies on five of his first six holes on the way to a 4-and-3 win over world No. 1 Jon Rahm.
“Definitely nice to get off to that start,” said Scheffler, who went 2-0-1. “You know, Jon has had a really good week so far, so to get off to that start and put him down early was big.”
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, U.S. anchor team for the Friday morning Foursomes, went 5 up through five in their 5-and-3 victory over Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter.
“I don’t know if anyone could have beat Xander and Patrick today,” McIlroy said.
Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm went 3-0-0. “To be able to win those matches with him the way we did it, that is undoubtedly the most fun I’ve had on a golf course by far,” Rahm said.
Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa went 3-0-0. (They were split up Friday afternoon.)
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele went 2-0-0 in Foursomes.
BEST NEW NICKNAME
“Patty Ice” Cantlay became “No Hat Pat” as he went 3-0-1 for the U.S.
BEST TEAM WITHIN A TEAM
Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, the new Spanish Armada, went 3-0-1
Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka, Florida State products, went 1-1-0
MOST SPORTSMANLIKE GESTURE
Harris English, after losing his ball in the hazard, conceded his singles match to Lee Westwood, after which they laughingly helped each other climb the steep bank to the 18th green.
MOST HEARTFELT MOMENT
Rory McIlroy, who had gone 0-3 and been benched the first two days before winning his singles match over Xander Schauffele, crying at the end of a long and difficult week.
BEST INDICATION OF FUTURE U.S. SUCCESS
U.S. Captain Steve Stricker’s U.S. Team featured six rookies and eight players under 30. What’s more, all 12 American players won at least one match going into the Sunday singles. All of which would seem to portend good things for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, and beyond.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“We wanted to send a message.” – Patrick Cantlay
“I think it’s the fastest I ever got over losing something.” – Xander Schauffele, upon seeing the heavily red leaderboards, signifying a U.S. rout, after Rory McIlroy beat him 2 and 1 on Sunday.
“I think I’m emotional, as well, because I wanted to do this for Padraig, too.” – Rory McIlroy