U.S. Routs European Team to Take Back the Ryder Cup

HAVEN, Wis. — The first tee on a Ryder Cup Sunday is usually a place of high tension. But not on this Ryder Cup Sunday.When Justin Thomas stepped onto the tee for his match with Tyrrell Hatton of England, the home fans in the surrounding grandstand implored Thomas to chug a beer, as he had at the same spot Saturday afternoon when the American team build a nearly insurmountable lead ahead of the competition’s final stage.Thomas, preparing to play one of 12 climactic Sunday singles matches, smiled, but waved off the cans of beer being offered.“Yeah, later,” a fan yelled from the rollicking grandstand. “He’ll catch up on the beers later.”Yes, he would. And the Champagne, too.The U.S. golfers, beleaguered for most of the last 25 years of the Ryder Cup, on Sunday completed a three-day rout of the normally dominant European team to win the event for just the third time this century. Though they needed to win only three and a half points on Sunday to secure the Ryder Cup trophy — each match victory is worth one point and a tie is worth half a point — the Americans on Sunday brazenly attacked, capturing eight of a possible 12 available points to trounce the Europeans, 19-9.The 19 points are a record in a modern format for the event, established in 1979. The previous record was 18½ points, which was accomplished by the United States in 1981 and the Europeans in 2004 and 2006.The American Patrick Cantlay, who remained undefeated in this year’s event with a decisive 4 and 2 victory over Ireland’s Shane Lowry on Sunday, summarized his team’s uncompromising attitude during the three days of competition at Whistling Straits, a daunting golf course along two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in central Wisconsin.“I woke up this morning and told the guys, let’s get 20 points,” Cantlay said. “This is the next era of Ryder Cup teams for the U.S.A., and I wanted to send a message. Everyone on our team has a killer’s instinct and we’re going to bring that to future Cups.”Collin Morikawa added, “It was imperative that we win this Ryder Cup for American golf, but it’s not just a win, it’s a dominant win, and that matters.”The American team deliberately rode a manifest youth movement to victory, with a roster that included eight players under 30 and six who were making their Ryder Cup debut. It was the youngest American team in the 94 years of the event and notably devoid of golf luminaries, like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who had defined the squad since the 1990s. But from 1993 until this week, those American teams had lost nine of the 12 Ryder Cups contested.With American golf — competitively and recreationally — undergoing a changing of the guard, it was fitting that the U.S. Ryder Cup team was built around nine players ranked in the top 10 of the men’s world golf rankings who collectively have an average age of 26.2. The youngest in the group, Morikawa, 24, was undefeated in this year’s event and secured the half-point that clinched victory on Sunday afternoon. At roughly the same time, the elder of the team, Dustin Johnson, 37, won his match to become just the fifth player to have a 5-0 record in one Ryder Cup.Earlier, Patrick Cantlay defeated Shane Lowry, 4 and 2; Scottie Scheffler beat Jon Rahm, 4 and 3; and Bryson DeChambeau defeated Sergio Garcia, 3 and 2. That set the stage for Morikawa’s putt to clinch it. Afterward, Brooks Koepka defeated Bernd Wiesberger, 2 and 1; Justin Thomas beat Tyrrell Hatton, 4 and 3; Daniel Berger rallied to overcome Matthew Fitzpatrick, 1 up; and Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood tied.This is a developing story.

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