USA crush Europe to regain Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Steve Stricker's hosts win by record 19-9 margin after dominating Team Europe 8-4 in Sunday singles.

By Rory Jiwani
Picture by RICHARD HEATHCOTE/GETTY IMAGES

The USA won the 43rd Ryder Cup in emphatic fashion at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin on Sunday (26 September).

Leading 11-5 overnight, the hosts needed just 3.5 points from the 12 singles matches to regain the most prestigious team trophy in men's golf.

They won eight on the day to post a record scoreline of 19-9 with the home team winning seven of the last eight Ryder Cup encounters.

Dustin Johnson beat Paul Casey to secure his fifth point out of five on the week, but the outcome was settled moments earlier in match five when Collin Morikawa tapped in for birdie on the par-3 17th to secure a half against Viktor Hovland.

The Norwegian, a former college rival of Morikawa's, had delayed the inevitable by winning consecutive holes to make it all square in a classic encounter.

Hovland took the last to earn half a point but, with seven matches left out on the course, USA led 14.5-6.5 to put them on track for a new record margin of victory.

On three previous occasions - in favour of USA in 1981 and Europe in 2004 and 2006 - the winning score was 18.5-9.5.

And despite some strong fightbacks near the bottom of the order, not least by veteran Lee Westwood, Europe slumped to their worst defeat since replacing Great Britain and Ireland in 1979.

USA run riot after McIlroy finds touch

Any hopes of a European comeback in the style of 2012's 'Miracle of Medinah' were quickly dashed as the scoreboard turned into a sea of American red.

Rory McIlroy finally found some form to defeat Olympic champion Xander Schauffele 3&2 in the top match, but the next three all went the way of the USA with world number one Jon Rahm going down 4&3 to Scottie Scheffler.

It turned into something of a race between Morikawa, Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas as to who would clinch victory for Team USA with this year's Open champion prevailing.

His team-mates quickly sealed wins in their matches to put the record within sight.

Ian Poulter defeated Tony Finau 3&2, but that was a rare bright spot for Europe who were comprehensively outplayed for the third day in succession.

The three Englishmen at the bottom of the order fought hard with Westwood, fully 24 years after his Ryder Cup debut, roaring back from two down with four to play to win one up against Harris English who found the water at the last.

Tommy Fleetwood halved a topsy-turvy match with Jordan Spieth, and Matt Fitzpatrick looked set for a half until he got wet on 18 to hand his match to Daniel Berger.

Lee Westwood helps Harris English up an incline on the 18th in their Ryder Cup singles match
Picture by RICHARD HEATHCOTE/GETTY IMAGES

A week of rare American dominance

With just one player outside the world's top 20, home captain Steve Stricker had an embarrassment of riches at his disposal.

Not even the well-publicised beef between Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau could disrupt the American flow with both men playing a full part in the home team's dominance.

Johnson and Morikawa formed a simply awesome pairing, with the latter going unbeaten in his first Ryder Cup.

Rahm and Sergio Garcia apart, Europe struggled badly on the first two days with Stricker's opposite number Padraig Harrington having to chop and change his players.

Europe's famed team spirit had helped them in the past, but the gulf between the two sides was all too obvious this time.

Even the two Spaniards were found wanting on Sunday with Rahm losing his first four holes against Scheffler on his way to a heavy defeat, and Garcia going down 3&2 to DeChambeau.

McIlroy's form deserted him until the final day, and the Ulsterman emotionally expressed his disappointment at his contribution in "the best event in golf bar none".

He will hope to be part of Europe's bid to regain the trophy in Rome in two years' time.

2021 Ryder Cup - Day 3 singles results (USA first)

Xander Schauffele lost to Rory McIlroy 3&2
Patrick Cantlay def. Shane Lowry 4&2
Scottie Scheffler def. Jon Rahm 4&3
Bryson DeChambeau def. Sergio Garcia 3&2
Collin Morikawa A/S Viktor Hovland
Dustin Johnson def. Paul Casey 1 up
Brooks Koepka def. Bernd Wiesberger 2&1
Tony Finau lost to Ian Poulter 3&2
Justin Thomas def. Tyrrell Hatton 4&3
Harris English lost to Lee Westwood 1 up
Jordan Spieth A/S Tommy Fleetwood
Daniel Berger def. Matt Fitzpatrick 1 up

Sunday singles: USA 8, Europe 4.

OVERALL: USA 19, Europe 9.

Ian Poulter congratulates USA captain Steve Stricker after the 2021 Ryder Cup
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

2021 Ryder Cup teams

United States

Non-playing captain: Steve Stricker

Non-playing vice-captains: Fred Couples, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson

Playing squad: Daniel Berger (world number 16), Patrick Cantlay (#4), Bryson DeChambeau (#7), Harris English (#11), Tony Finau (#10), Dustin Johnson (#2), Brooks Koepka (#9), Collin Morikawa (#3), Xander Schauffele (#5), Scottie Scheffler (#21), Jordan Spieth (#14), Justin Thomas (#6)

Europe

Non-playing captain: Pádraig Harrington (Ireland)

Non-playing vice-captains: Luke Donald (England), Robert Karlsson (Sweden), Martin Kaymer (Germany), Graeme McDowell (N. Ireland), Henrik Stenson (Sweden)

Playing squad: Paul Casey (England, world number 23), Matthew Fitzpatrick (England, #27), Tommy Fleetwood (England, #36), Sergio García (Spain, #43), Tyrrell Hatton (England, #19), Viktor Hovland (Norway, #13), Shane Lowry (Ireland, #40), Rory McIlroy (N. Ireland, #15), Ian Poulter (England, #49), Jon Rahm (Spain, #1), Lee Westwood (England, #34), Bernd Wiesberger (Austria, #61)