Sep 27th, 2021
2020 Ryder Cup: USA thrash Europe in Wisconsin
No miracles, just more pain as Europe suffer worse ever loss
Words: GolfPunk Photography: PGA of America / Getty Images
In the end, Europe came up way short, losing by the record margin of nineteen points to nine. The pain for Europe was clear to see as Rory McIlroy, who finally woke up to take the first point of the day for Europe, struggled to talk during a tearful interview.
McIlroy, who was woeful on the first two days, was one of only three European players who won a singles point beating Xander by 3&2 Schauffele.
It was somewhat ironic that the two other winners for Europe on Sunday were the previously pointless Englishmen Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.
Poulter never looked in trouble in his match with Tony Finau closing the match out on the 16th green by a score of 3&2. One wonders whether the postman may have faired better in what may be his last Ryder Cup if he had not been paired with McIlroy in his both his other matches.
The elder statesman of the team, Lee Westwood, battled back from two down with five to play to win one up against Harris English.
Open champion Collin Morikawa had the honour of claiming the winning half-point in match five of the singles taking the home side to the magic 14½ points they needed.
The first three points for Team USA had been added in style by Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau. Scheffler was particularly impressive, beating world number one Jon Rahm by 4&3.
As the celebrations began on the shores of Lake Michigan, Dustin Johnson triumphed against Paul Casey on the final green to become the first American to win all five matches at a Ryder Cup since Larry Nelson won all his matches at the Greenbrier in 1979.
Brooks Koepka celebrated his victory by 2&1 against Bernd Wiesberger by downing a can of beer thrown to him by the crowd and later was even seen briefly embracing Bryson DeChambeau in a media conference.
"This is a special day for everyone here involved," said an emotional US Captain, Steve Stricker.
"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."
Europe captain Padraig Harrington was gracious in defeat.
"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," said Harrington.
The margin of victory 19-9 is a record one and eclipses the 18½-9½ successes enjoyed by Europe in 2004 and 2006 and America in 1981.
There can be no arguments that USA deserved the win. When they won both the morning and afternoon sessions by 3-1, they looked dominant from the first day. After that, they had their foot on Europe's throat and just kept applying the pressure.
It was unfortunate that the European team had almost no support at the match but even with an army of supporters, it is hard to see this American side losing. Moreover, all six rookies on the American side looked unphased by the big occasion and contributed in full to the US victory.
There will undoubtedly be a post mortem on Harrington's captaincy but it is hard to see how he could have won with the hand he was dealt. Too many European players underperformed, and the Americans also putted them off the course.
All eyes will turn to the preparations for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome. Lee Westwood looks like a favourite to lead Team Europe, and if picked, he will need to focus on the course set up if the big-hitting Americans show up again in two years.