The Team United States has regained the world golf’s much-coveted Ryder Cup after a crushing 19-9 victory over Europe at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Open champion Collin Morikawa won the winning half-point in the fifth of Sunday’s 12 singles matches as the hosts raced to the 14½ points they needed to win the 43rd Ryder Cup
A clearly emotional US team captain Steve Stricker said, “This is a special day for everyone here involved. The Ryder Cup means a lot to everybody, your side and our side. We finally put in a dominant performance. “This is a new era right here, they are young, motivated, they came here determined to win.”
“I never won a major. But this is my major,” Stricker said.
Team Europe’s Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were left in tears as the American players celebrated. Brooks Koepka downed a beer thrown to him from the fans after he completed a 2&1 victory on the 17th green. Meanwhile, Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau bagged big wins at the event by Lake Michigan. 2-time major winner Dustin Johnson also made history as he became the first American to win all five matches at a Ryder Cup since Europe joined it in 1979.
Europe captain Pádraig Harrington said, “It’s a tough loss, but they were better than us. They were a strong team and played on their best form. They had momentum the whole time.”
The margin of victory tops the 18½-9½ wins enjoyed by Europe in 2004 and 2006 and America’s own triumph in 1981.
Team US’ win was thoroughly deserved thanks in part to the dominant opening two days for the hosts.
They led 6-2 after Friday’s foursomes and fourballs sessions before they extended that to a record 11-5 on Saturday to leave themselves needing to win just 3½ points out of the 12 available in the singles.
Harrington had recalled the 2012 ‘Miracle of Medinah’ when the visitors came from 10-6 down to win the title to inspire his side.
He put McIlroy out first and the Northern Irishman won the first hole against Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, despite having lost all three of his matches.
Shane Lowry went ahead on the second in the second match but fell to FedEx Cup winner Cantlay, who won the next four holes to take control of that match. Scheffler followed as he birdied the first four holes as put world number one Jon Rahm under early pressure.
The big-hitting DeChambeau kept the momentum as he hit his tee shot on the par-four first onto the green and holed the 40-foot eagle putt to stun Sergio Garcia. Justin Thomas obliterated Tyrrell Hatton 4&3, Koepka saw off Bernd Wiesberger 2&1, and Daniel Berger beat Matt Fitzpatrick on the last as the US won seven of the singles matches.
The vast superiority of the home side and the astonishing margin of victory was evident as the hosts clinched the title with seven matches still out on the course.
By the look of things, Team US is set to dominate the Ryder Cup in the coming years after having lost seven of the previous nine editions of the biennial contest. This was their second successive title on home soil for the first time in 38 years.
Their 12-strong team featured eight of the top 10 in the world rankings with eight of them being in their 20s. Meanwhile, three of the six rookies in the team, Cantlay, Morikawa and Scheffler, turned in an unbeaten week as every US player contributed at least one point.
On the European side, several of the players must be close to the end of their Ryder Cup careers. Interestingly, 48-year-old qualifier Westwood and 45-year-old Poulter bagged wins in singles.
Poulter said, “Sticking a point on the board is nice from a personal feeling, but it’s no consolation. You don’t think it’s a complete runaway like this. When you look at the scoreboard it looks extremely, but it didn’t feel that way. We’ll saddle up and see if we can go again in Italy.”
The next Ryder Cup is scheduled to be held in Rome in 2023, which will mark 30 years since the US last won an away match.