Team USA locks up Ryder Cup victory over Europe

Collin Morikawa sealed the winning half-point for the US team, with the Americans clinching the outcome just five matches into Sunday's singles play at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan.

Team USA beat Team Europe 19-9 to win the 2021 Ryder Cup in Sheboygan, USA.   -  AFP

From start to finish, the United States had the right combinations in the Ryder Cup.

In one of the most thorough performances in the history of the event, the Americans toppled Team Europe by a score of 19-9.

The message afterward: Get used to it.

"This is a new era for USA golf," team captain Steve Stricker said, referring to the young standouts who carried much of the load.

Collin Morikawa sealed the winning half-point for the US team, with the Americans clinching the outcome just five matches into Sunday's singles play at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan.

Morikawa won the par-3 17th hole with a short birdie putt to take a one-hole lead on Viktor Hovland, meaning he would at least halve the match all the U.S. side needed to complete the incredible three days.

"It means so much (to be the one to clinch)," Morikawa said. "We knew we had a very strong team. It means nothing until we hit that first tee shot. The guys pulled through. We didn't let up."


The Europeans would have needed the largest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history in order to retain the Cup. They trailed 11-5 entering the day, with the Americans needing 14.5 points to regain the Cup.

By the time it was completed, the US had its most lopsided outcome against Europe.

"This is a dominant win," Morikawa said. "Everyone showed up. All 12 of us, when we're called upon we showed up."

With Morikawa's half-point guaranteed, that meant the margin would grow to at least 14.5-6. Hovland won the final hole, so they halved that point.

After that, other US golfers to win their matches included Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger. Jordan Spieth added a half-point by splitting his match with Tommy Fleetwood.

"These guys all came together," Stricker said. "They had a mission this week. You could tell."

The whole thing was so inspiring that Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau shared a slight hug afterward.

Johnson was the U.S. standout, taking part in five of the team's points during the three days of competition. He was the first American in 42 years to go 5-0-0 in Ryder Cup play.

"It's so much fun for us to come out and play golf like this," Johnson said. "I didn't really expect to play five matches, but obviously I got off to a good start. Had some good partnerships with Collin and Xander (Schauffele)."

The US won the Ryder Cup for just the fourth time in the last 13 editions of the competition.

"They're young," Stricker said of the team's core. "They come with a lot of passion, with a lot of energy. A lot of game."

For Morikawa, it has been an incredible 14 months, winning the 2020 PGA Championship and then this year's British Open before sealing the Ryder Cup outcome.

Earlier Sunday, Patrick Cantlay defeated Shane Lowry by 4 and 2 and Scottie Scheffler won over Jon Rahm, the world's No. 1-ranked golfer who had been the most consistent European performer, by 4 and 3.

DeChambeau took more spirit out of the Europeans with a 3 and 2 decision against Sergio Garcia, who a day earlier became Ryder Cup's golfer with an all-time record of 25 victories. Garcia had been 3-0 in his action across the previous two days.


"It's quite a scene," DeChambeau said. "One that I'll remember for a lifetime."

There was really no doubt by the time matches reached the midway mark Sunday, with the US holding leads in four of the first five on the docket.

Even when it became official that the Cup would be changing hands, the Americans were in good shape in several other matches among the 12 singles encounters.

The US team basically had it in cruise control, with Cantlay and Scheffler each winning four straight holes. Cantlay won Nos. 3-6, while Scheffler claimed the first four holes in his match.

DeChambeau also started strong, winning three of the first four holes and holding a three-hole edge after the front nine.

Europe's Rory McIlroy won the day's first match, topping Schauffele by 3 and 2. It was McIlroy's only point of this year's event. Schauffele had been 3-0.

"I'm disappointed that I haven't contributed more for the team," McIlroy said. "But in two years' time, we'll go again and give it another go."

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood also won for Team Europe, concluding those matches after the US team had secured the Cup-winning point total.

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