Team Europe won the Ryder Cup on Sunday, 17.5-10.5, riding the momentum built in the first two days of the event and denying the Americans their first win on foreign soil in 25 years in spite of a mini surge.
Amid a raucous and blue-clad partisan crowd at Le Golf National outside Paris, Europe carried what turned out to be an insurmountable 10-6 lead into Sunday singles play.
The Americans rallied Sunday and would eventually cut Europe’s lead to 10.5-9.5. But the hope faded as the Euros held firm in later play, scoring the next six points. The Americans had left themselves in an eventually impossible situation before the day had begun. Justin Thomas was a star for Team USA, going 4-1 in combined play and winning the first match of the day over Rory McIlroy.
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods went a combined 0-6. And World No. 1 player Dustin Johnson also struggled for the Americans.
The U.S. woes in foursomes and four-ball play, along with some questionable pairings choices made by captain Jim Furyk, will undoubtedly be critiqued by frustrated American golf fans over the next few days.
A 4-0 performance by the team of Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood on Friday and Saturday did serious damage. Molinari, who won the British Open this summer, went 5-0 overall, the first European to do that, and clinched the Ryder Cup with his 4-and-2 victory over Phil Mickelson on Sunday. That made the score 14.5-9.5.
The setup of Le Golf National played exactly how European captain Thomas Bjorn hoped it would. The tight fairways, water and thich rough proved perilous for Team USA.
“Everything goes out to these 12 players. They were determined. They were focused,” Bjorn said. “They were easy to captain.”
The Americans will have a chance to win back the Cup at Whistling Straits on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin starting on Sept. 25, 2020.
That’s a mere 726 days away.