Sunday 26 September 2021 11:52 pm

Five things we've learned from the USA's Ryder Cup landslide

The USA reclaimed the Ryder Cup in record breaking fashion on Sunday night, completing a landslide 19-9 victory over Europe that had looked in prospect from the first morning.

Open champion Collin Morikawa clinched the half point needed to ensure victory by finishing all-square in his match with Viktor Hovland, before the Americans won Sunday’s singles session 8-4.

Here are five things we learned from the 43rd Ryder Cup.

1. Gripping stuff

Sunday’s singles never turned into the contest that Europe would have hoped for, but it was still a riveting week of golf. A star-studded USA team lived up to their billing with a sensational display that put the holders under severe pressure and never let up. Having been soundly beaten in each of Friday’s sessions, Europe put up much more of a fight on Saturday. They couldn’t get close enough to make the final day tense, but it made for gripping entertainment.

2. DJ puts Europe in a spin

Even by his team’s miserable standards, Dustin Johnson had a Ryder Cup to forget in France three years ago, losing four of his five matches. He more than made amends this time, however, leading the USA’s charge by becoming the first American to go 5-0-0 since Lanny Wadkins in 1979. Morikawa (3-0-1) was also excellent, taking four points from four matches, while Patrick Cantlay (3-0-1) and Xander Schauffele (3-1-0) also made big contributions, despite the latter’s defeat by Rory McIlroy on Sunday. 

2. Emotional McIlroy

McIlroy showed just how much losing the Ryder Cup hurt after signing off his hugely disappointing week with a 3&2 win over Schauffele. “I love my team-mates so much. I should’ve done more for them this week,” said a tearful McIlroy, who lost his other three matches 5&3, 5&3 and 4&3. “It’s by far the best experience in golf, I hope young boys and girls watching aspire to play in this or the Solheim Cup.”

3. Sensational Spaniards

He ran out of steam in the end but had it not been for Jon Rahm’s 3½ points over the first two days, the USA would have secured the Ryder Cup before Sunday’s singles even began. The world No1 was at his belligerent best on Friday and Saturday, carrying the fight for Europe with some thunderous drives and monster putts. Alongside him for much of it was compatriot Sergio Garcia, who extended his all-time European points record to 28.5 in typically gutsy fashion before losing his singles match 4&2 to Bryson DeChambeau.

5. Stay classy

Their golf was world class and their victory thoroughly deserved, but the USA team didn’t cover themselves in glory with some of their behaviour. Brooks Koepka was the worst offender, swearing at officials after being refused relief in Saturday’s foursomes, a display of arrogance that was petulant at best, bullying at worst. Then there was Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger chugging beers on the first tee, and Jordan Spieth rowing with Rahm’s caddie. Just as well they were winning and had the monopoly on crowd support.