The United States, carried by a new generation as talented as uninhibited, won the Ryder Cup for the 27th time in its history, snatching the trophy from European veterans on Sunday at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Leading 11 to 5 after two first days devoted to duo events (foursomes and fourballs), the Americans had only 3.5 points to glean in twelve singles to be crowned. They did not in the least tremble in the face of Europeans condemned to a feat never achieved in the history of the competition and which will wait to be: closing a six point delay at the start of the last round.
The latter did not succeed, because, supported by some 40,000 supporters in fusion on the course nestled between cliffs and hills along Lake Michigan, the USA has never wavered.
As a symbol, it was Collin Morikawa who brought the decisive half point making 14.5 and allowing to close the case. His birdie on the N.17, after an exceptional drive having approached him a few centimeters from the hole, was decisive, to finish tied with the Norwegian Viktor Hovland.
The winner of the last British Open, aged 24, is the youngest of the six rookies summoned by coach Steve Striker, especially blessed to benefit from nine players appearing among the 11 best in the world, out of the twelve that make up his team. The inexperience with the armada of European veterans has not been a brake on the success of the USA.
“We embody the present”
“We’re a pretty young team, but we have a lot of guys with experience on the circuit, although obviously the Ryder is a whole different beast to tame. We have lost a lot by looking to the past. We are the present and hopefully the future. As time passes, we learn. We learn and we improve, ”commented Morikawa, full of wisdom.
Earlier, the triumphant march, seen over the previous two days, had continued with three equally crucial victories, notably that of another debutant, Scottie Scheffler (25, 21st in the world) against world No. 1 Jon Rahm (4 & 3). The Spaniard, winner of the last US Open and who had until then been one of the few to survive on the European side, could not do anything.
In the process, rookie Patrick Cantlay outclassed Irishman Shane Lowry (4 & 2). Even before the victory, certainly promised, is acquired, he assured: “A new era is dawning for the American team in the Ryder Cup. This new generation is here for a while, I would like to send this message ”.
Is this message addressed to Europe or to American veterans including among others Tiger Woods – still recovering seven months after his serious car accident which broke his right leg -, Phil Mickelson or Bubba Watson ?
McIlroy in tears
History will tell. In the meantime, American success has also been built on the bombs sent by Bryson DeChambeau, very solid to dismiss (3 & 2) Sergio Garcia, the other main enemy threat. The Spaniard therefore stops on a defeat after having raised to 25 the record for the number of victories in the history of the competition, two more than Nick Faldo.
Little consolation, just like the one that concerned Rory McIlroy, who could not suppress a few tears after having nevertheless beaten the Olympic champion Xander Sc Chaudele (3 & 2), to maintain a semblance of suspense. This victory has struggled to forget his ordeal during this 43rd Ryder Cup, with three initial defeats.
“I never betrayed emotion or cried for what I did on an individual level. I do not care. But now … I love being part of this team … I should have done more for her. It’s been a tough week, ”he said with red eyes.
A week that should have ended with a miracle anyway, but Europe was starting too far. Here it is stuck at 14 successes, almost twice less than the Americans, to which are added two draws.
The next edition will take place in 2023, in Guidonia Montecelio, near Rome.