Sam Torrance: United States' Presidents Cup win sends a Ryder Cup warning to Europe; time to change a format stacked against the International team; Paul Dunne reaps rewards of a positive mindset

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The US team swept their International opponents aside 19-11 (Source: Getty)

If the Presidents Cup had been a boxing match the referee would have stepped in after just a couple of hours.

The United States looked very strong indeed as they beat the International team 19-11 over the weekend to win the contest for the seventh time in a row.

The US looked very well balanced, with some good partnerships and a distinguished backroom team of Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods and Davis Love III assisting captain Steve Stricker.

Read more: Paul Dunne shoots 61 to pip Rory McIlroy at British Masters

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed shone again as a pairing. One of their only headaches is finding a foursomes partner for Dustin Johnson because he hits it so far.

It wasn’t as if the International team, which featured the likes of Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen, played badly; the US were simply phenomenal.

It was nice that the visitors had the better of Sunday’s singles, although the US had secured the cup long before those matches finished so you wonder how deep they dug.

The manner of the US win is a warning to European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn ahead of next year’s contest.

The Americans are on a roll: they are the Ryder Cup holders, have won the most recent Walker Cup and Solheim Cup – and now this. It’s now up to Bjorn and his team to stop them.

It’s daunting but Europe have had their spells of dominance too. The US have raised the bar; it’s up to Europe now to step up.


The Presidents Cup format puts the International team, and the likes of Matsuyama, at a disadvantage (Source: Getty)

I did feel for great players like Matsuyama at the Presidents Cup, where the number of matches means that the contest is weighted towards the team with greater strength in depth: the US.

The International team can’t open their doors to any more players without including Europeans, so I’d like to see a reduction in matches to level the playing field a little.

You could cut Thursday’s foursomes and Friday’s fourballs from five matches to four. I know it’s something that Nick Price and Ernie Els have pleaded for.

The boy Dunne good

One man setting his Ryder Cup stall out early is Paul Dunne after the young Irishman earned a fantastic first European Tour win at the British Masters on Sunday.

Dunne could hardly have faced any greater pressure than Rory McIlroy breathing down his neck with five birdies in six holes on the back nine, but the 24-year-old effectively won it at 17, where a great chip left him a four-foot putt that he holed for a two-shot cushion.

Bravo to him and to tournament host Lee Westwood for staging a great spectacle.


Dunne shot to fame as an amateur at the 2015 Open (Source: Getty)

He enjoyed a good amateur career which included sharing the 54-hole lead at the 2015 Open but this is a huge step up for Dunne.

He is diminutive but powerfully built, a hard worker and obviously a very good player. He also remarked that he had changed his mentality recently – from aiming to not play badly to going out to play well – and it’s starting to bear fruit.

The Ryder Cup may be almost a year off, but as it stands he is in the team and he will want to stay there.


McIlroy put the pressure on Dunne with five birdies in six holes on the back nine (Source: Getty)

McIlroy, who finished second, flattered to deceive for two rounds but played very well over the last two days once he had got to grips with an unfamiliar course. He looked very comfortable and it’s nice to see him back.

He’s in line for only the second barren season of his career and I suspect that will really spur him on over the last few events of the year.

This week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where he finished third shortly after turning professional in 2007, is a special one for him and suits him perfectly. He’ll love it and it’s all set up for him to end his drought.

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