Europeans stun Americans with Ryder Cup victory
Europe outmuscled the star studded US team 17.5 – 10.5 to regain the Ryder Cup trophy at Le Golf National in France. The US team started strongly, winning the first session 3 – 1 on Friday morning. The European team however came back into the tournament strongly as they went on to win the next four sessions with a combined score of 16.5 – 7.5.
The score was a shock to the Americans who were confident coming into the tournament, with one of the strongest teams to ever feature in the Ryder Cup history. They didn’t realise their potential as they suffered their second worst defeat in their history in the event. The US’ worst ever defeat was in 2006, when they lost 18.5 – 9.5 at the K club. This result means the United States team have lost for the sixth consecutive time in the Ryder Cup on European soil.
Rookie Jon Rahm was the difference for the European team with a significant triumph against Tiger Woods, as Francesco Molinari secured the wining point. The Italian made history as the first ever European player to secure a perfect 5 – 0 record in a classic display that gave the Europeans mileage to win against their biggest threat in the US team.
Europe had an overnight 10 – 6 lead and they only needed four and a half points from the 12 singles match for a ninth win in the last 12 in this biennial contest. Justin Thomas of the US team beat former World number one Rory McIlroy. In the opening match, Webb Simpsons beat Justin Rose 3&2. Tony Finau schooled the unbeaten Tommy Fleetwood 6&4 to reduce the lead to just one point and keep the American hopes for a comeback alive, just like they did in the Brookline comeback in 1999.
Three time major winner Jordan Spieth was humbled by Thorbjorn Olesen 5&4 while Tiger Woods, who came into this tournament from winning the East Lake Golf tournament, was shocked by Rahm as he ended without a single match point. Rahm’s highlights include hitting a magnificent drive from 356-yards to set up the winning birdie.
Woods had fought his way back from two down to level the match but his play in the last five holes cost the veteran dearly. Tiger, who many expected to lead the Americans to victory, looked jaded during the tournament and blamed himself for ruining the momentum the Americans had built. He said:
It’s frustrating because I just didn’t perform at the level that I had been playing, I got behind early in the matches and never got back.– Tiger Woods, Golfer
There were few matches left before the European team would be declared champions. Ian Poulter stole the show by taking his team to the verge of victory when on the 18th, where he defeated world number one Dustin Johnson.
Molinari took the honours to win the tournament by downing Phil Mickelson 4&2. Molinari tied American Larry Nelson’s record set in 1973 to become the first European golfer to compile a perfect 5-0 record in the contest. This comes just less than two months before he became the first Italian to win a major championship in July.