Guyancourt, France – At the very least, the 42nd Ryder Cup matches were supposed to be a tightly contested team competition filled with high drama. It was billed as Team USA’s best shot at getting a long awaited road win. Instead, it turned out to be much of the same, another rout by Team Europe on home soil, just outside of Paris at Le Golf National.
Team Europe 17 1/2 to Team USA 10 1/2.
Having not won across the pond since 1993, Team USA knew how tall of a task was before them, and it once again proved to be too much. The Europeans continued their home dominance right where it left off in 2014 (at Gleneagles in Scotland). The combination of seasoned Ryder Cup veterans – Garcia, Rose, McIlroy, Poulter and Stenson, mixed with rookies Rahm, Hatton, Olesen, Noren and Fleetwood was stellar. But it was the current “Champion Golfer of the Year” Italian Francesco Molinari who was truly dominant – going 5-0 in France.
Team USA led after Friday’s opening Four-ball session 3-1, but in the anchor match that morning, Fleetwood/Molinari (now known as “Moliwood”) set the tone for what was to come – beating Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed 3&1. That was start of eight straight match wins for Team Europe, and for all intents and purposes the Ryder Cup was over. There would be no Brookline or Medinah miracle in Paris. For Team USA supporters, you might be looking to blame the task force, or Captain Jim Furyk’s pairings, but perhaps the brilliance of the European PGA deserves some credit for the super tight set up at Le Golf National. Not only was the set up perfectly tailored to neutralize Team USA’s bomb and gouge specialty, but the majority of team red white & blue simply didn’t bring their game to Paris. Tiger Woods went 0 for 4. Bryson DeChambeau 0 for 3. Phil Mickelson 0 for 2. Dustin Johnson 1 for 5. Rickie Fowler 1 for 4. Bubba Watson 1 for 3. Patrick Reed 1 for 3.
It’s quite possible that we’ve witnessed the end of an era in American Ryder Cup teams. This edition saw Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson join the ranks of vice captains, and it’s likely that Bubba, Phil and Tiger are trending in the same direction. In fact, since 1997 the record of the eight teams that Phil and Tiger have played on is 1-7. Ole, Ole, Ole . . .
The Ryder Cup moves stateside to Kohler, Wisconsin at Whistling Straits in 2020.
Match results: https://www.rydercup.