Dominance Once Again
Another edition of golf’s most famous team event is in the books and Europe has re-captured the Ryder Cup. Le Golf National in France hosted the event and provided an excellent venue for the competition. The course was demanding and required players to be accurate with thick rough and many water hazards lining the fairways. As is the case with most tournaments involving the world’s best players, it came down to putting. Team Europe simply made more of putts, hit more fairways, and played more consistent golf. As a result, they captured their 6th straight title on European soil.
Team USA came out of the gate hot winning 3 of the first 4 fourball matches and jumping out to a quick 3-1 lead on Day 1. The only American duo to lose was that of Tiger and Pat Reed who lost to Tommy Fleetwood and Franky Molinari (later dubbed Moliwood after their 4-0 record together). Unfortunately for Team USA, Europe stormed back and won all 4 afternoon foursome matches in convincing fashion. The most notable being Moliwood beating Spieth and Thomas 5&4.
Day 2 started out with Europe taking control of the event, winning 3 more fourball matches. Reed and Woods were paired together once again and lost to Moliwood again. Reed later came out and said he expected to play with Spieth who he had previous success with. But other sources say Reed insisted on playing with Tiger so who knows what to believe. The afternoon matches were split 2-2 as Tiger was the victim of Moliwood again, this time paired with Bryson DeChambeau who couldn’t find his game whatsoever in France.
It’s Over Folks
With the score at 10-6 for Europe entering Sunday, speculations of another “miracle” comeback were being made. This was not the case this year however. Team USA was front-loaded by Captain Jim Furyk needing early points to have a chance. JT came out with a massive point in his match with Rory, after Rory made a disaster out of the 18th hole. Koepka halved Casey in a great back-and-forth match. Then Webb Simpson beat Justin Rose 3&2 and things were really looking up for the Americans. Finau beat the red-hot Fleetwood 6&4. Then the USA lost 3 matches in which they probably should have won. Tiger (who went 0-4) lost to Big Rig Jon Rahm. DJ lost to Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter and Spieth got crushed by Thorbjorn Olesen.
Europe kept piling on points as Sergio Garcia became the all-time Ryder Cup points leader with his win over Rickie Fowler. Molinari made it a perfect 5-0 by beating a struggling Phil Mickelson. Stenson beat Bubba and improved his record to 3-0. Noren beat Bryson and Reed beat Hatton in the final matches that nobody was watching or cared about because Moliwood and the boys were already popping bottles with coach Thomas Bjorn.
Back to the USA
In the end, it was hard to imagine why the USA was favoured to win. They haven’t won in Europe since 1993 and looked out of sync throughout with the exception of a couple of players. The captains’ picks loomed large: Bjorn’s picks or Stenson, Casey, Garcia and Poulter combined to go 9-4-1. Furyk’s picks went a combined 2-10. Might be time for team USA to move on from some of their older players….it’s a long 2 years until the 2020 event at Whistling Straits. Only time will tell if the USA can learn from its mistakes and re-capture the Cup at home. It cant come soon enough.