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By : BGA Proshop
The 25-year drought continues. Questions have already been asked and the finger pointing game has started at Team USA’s 2018 Ryder Cup Team.
In the end, Team USA was no match for Team Europe going down 17 ½ to 10 ½ but it was a poor performance in the fourball and foursome matches that once again point them in a tough spot.
With arguably one of the best teams they have sent to Europe with six out of the top 10 ranked golfers in the world were on the roster Team USA could not match the might of Europe and their team play.
After the first session on Friday in the first fourball games, Team USA got off to a flyer winning 3 out of the 4 matches but it all turned as it was a sea of blue in the afternoon foursome matches with Team Europe winning all 4 matches to lead 5 – 3 after the first day.
Knowing he had to turn it around on Saturday, Team Captain for the USA Jim Furyk went with the same pairings as Friday for the first fourball matches on Saturday but this time the scores were reversed with Team Europe winning 3 out of the 4 matches to take an 8 – 4 lead heading into the afternoon foursome matches. The foursome matches were halves 2 – 2 and Team Europe taking a controlling 10 – 6 lead into the final Sunday singles.
With the Ryder Cup slowly slipping away Furyk had to roll the dice on Sunday and send out all his strongest players first to try and regain the balance of power. Team Europe only needed to get to 14 ½ to win the 2018 Ryder Cup and it looked like there was a glimmer of hope when in the first 5 matches Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, Tony Finau all had a win and Brooks Koepka had a halve with only Tiger Woods losing his match. But in the next 4 matches Ian Poulter, Thorbjorn Olesen, Sergio Garcia and Francesco Molinari dashed the hope away from the Americans winning all their matches. In the end, it was over with 2 matches still on the golf course.
So what happened?
Firstly both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were awful. I do not know if I want to see them play in Las Vegas on the 23rd of November after their performances at the Ryder Cup. Both failed to score a point and so did others on the team but we are talking about 2 of the most experienced golfers in the world.
Woods looked tired and gassed and the four rounds in 3 days took a toll on him especially after his win at the Tour Championship the week before. “I’m one of the contributing factors to why we lost,” he said afterwards, “and it’s not a lot of fun.”
There was no excuse for Mickelson but and this could have been his last Ryder Cup as a player. He struggled on day one and didn’t play on day two and was all sorts in the single match going down to Molinari.
Bryson DeChambeau was the other player on Team USA who failed to score a point losing all 3 of his matches but the rookie could have been forgiven give this was his first Ryder Cup.
The only shining light for Team USA was Justin Thomas who played all the matches playing 90 holes in 3 days. He finished 4 and 1 in his first rookie experience.
On the other side, Team Europe found a star in rookie Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari. Both players played all matches for Team Europe and we paired together for both the fourball and foursomes on both days. In the end, Fleetwood only lost his singles match where Molinari went undefeated.
After the match, Furyk said “We’re going to get second-guessed, and we’re going to get questioned,”
“I realize as a leader of this team and as a captain, the brunt of it is going to be on my plate and I accepted that when I took this role.”
“I know everyone at this table wishes they had played better, and I wish I probably would have done some things differently,”
It was a very different press conference for Bjorn who said “The whole team has been part of this. And I think it's very easy to sum it up: Some play five matches and some play two matches, but they all contribute,”
“We got it right this week. We worked as a team and we knew we were up against very strong opponents, but we went out on the golf course and believed in ourselves and what we stand for as a team.
“We never, ever looked towards their team and what they were about. We were about us as a team and what we do.
“This is the best team room I've ever been in. It was calm. It was determined. It was focused. It was fun. Everything that this Ryder Cup was, is what I think The Ryder Cup should be about for a European Team.”