Ryder Cup: European newspapers react to the United States 19-9 victory

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Gloating is not endearing, but after suffering through decades of watching my beloved Chicago Cubs lose, after they finally won a World Series in 2016, I’ll admit that I spent a while reading articles written by Cleveland writers and pundits. I did the same thing after Syracuse won the 2003 National Championship in basketball.

Perusing what columnists and reporters say about your team after it wins a title is a guilty pleasure, but the chance only comes around once a century for Cub fans, and Syracuse has only won one title in my 50-year lifetime, so I don’t get the chance to gloat very often.

It had not been 108 years since the United States won a Ryder Cup. Five years ago, the team sprayed champagne all over Hazeltine National after defeating Europe 17-11, but Europe has dominated this event for the last few decades.

So Sunday evening, I couldn’t help myself. I started looking to see what the European press was saying about the Americans’ win, European team captain Padraig Harrington’s decisions and the scene at Whistling Straits.

Here are some of the columns and articles American golf fans might enjoy. Just remember, in two years the Ryder Cup goes to Rome, Italy, and the United States has not won a Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993, four years before Collin Morikawa was born.

Daily Mail

Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup

Team USA's Bryson DeChambeau reacts to the crowd on the first tee during a Ryder Cup singles match at the Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin. Photo by Ashley Landis/Associated Press

"As for Mr Box Office, DeChambeau followed his prodigious drive on to the first green with a second golden moment at the sixth, another par four that is driveable for him. This one was playing a bit shorter and his caddie wisely talked him into hitting a three wood. As he put his driver back into the bag, an audible groan went up from the packed gallery. 'Hey guys, relax!' the Mad Scientist shouted over to them. 'I'm still going for the green!' At his best, he's pure gold, isn't he? Garcia chipped in at the 10th to halve the hole and then got back to two down at the 12th. Credit DeChambeau with his reply at the par four 13th, a lovely wedge that finished six inches from the hole. So it continued, before ending in a three and two victory for DeChambeau."

- Derek Lawrenson

The Guardian

Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington talks with vice captain Robert Karlsson and player Lee Westwood on the 15th green during the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Photo by Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

"It was a case of when and not if. By how many rather than how. The scale of United States’ dominance in the 43rd Ryder Cup was such that post-mortems as relating to Pádraig Harrington’s European captaincy were well underway long before the event had even finished. This proved a trouncing for the ages and, at long last, a case of substance to back up US hype. This quickly developed into the Lake Michigan mismatch, where the hosts were hot in pursuit of glory by a record margin. This US team became the first in the modern era to reach 19 points, to Europe’s paltry nine. Harrington, who placed heavy emphasis on how this battle would impact his professional legacy, will be wounded by what transpired at Whistling Straits. Captaincy is defined by results, however unfair that is. Europe, the weaker side, were simply outplayed." - Ewan Murray

The Independant

Ryder Cup 2021
Ryder Cup 2021

Team USA's Scottie Scheffler walks to the 11th hole during a Ryder Cup singles match at the Whistling Straits on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Haven, Wisconsin. Photo by Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

"He’d spoken on Saturday evening of his team facing 'a tall order' chasing down that 5-11 deficit, a gap even more daunting than that overcome at Medinah. 'These things can be done,' he declared unconvincingly. But this would be a day of the coldest logic at Whistling Straits. A day on which a team with an average world ranking of nine had too much punch for one with an average ranking of 30. A day delivering the eighth home win from the last nine Ryder Cups, the single aberration forever labelled in the holy pages of the past as 'a miracle'. True, there were some early flickers, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry getting ahead early but world number one, Jon Rahm, ran into a stone wall, slipping four down through four against the lowest ranked American, Scottie Scheffler. And soon the giant scoreboards were bleeding red under a carmelising sky as Steve Stricker’s men, needing just three and a half points for victory, got the scent of slaughter." - Brian Keogh

Irish Examiner

Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington

Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington at the four-ball matches during the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Haven, Wisconsin. Photo by Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

When did it start to go wrong? Arguably the answer to that question can be found as far back as May 2019, when Europe captain Padraig Harrington's request to have three wild cards rather than the four Thomas Bjorn had the previous year was approved by the European Tour's tournament committee. When the coronavirus pandemic decimated the golfing calendar and forced a one-year delay, Harrington was given the chance to have up to eight wild cards but stuck to his guns, believing that being selected places even more pressure on players to perform.

Why did that cause a problem? Because five into three does not go and five of Europe's most experienced—and best—players failed to qualify. Harrington would have wanted Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Shane Lowry in the automatic qualifying places to free up his wild card selections, but the first four failed to do so and Lowry was bumped out of the team in the final event by Bernd Wiesberger.

- Phil Casey

Irish Times

Ryder Cup fans
Ryder Cup fans

Team USA's Patrick Cantlay tees off on the 1st hole the final day of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin. Photo by Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Bad blood whistled through the contrived, man-made dunes by the lake through Saturday. This time, it had nothing to do with the boorish comments emanating from boozed-up fans directed at the European players; rather, the displays came within the ropes as a couple of contentious issues brought players’ blood to boiling point. ... For sure, Koepka’s zealous response left a sour taste. But, more than that, was there a potential for him to be disqualified for serious misconduct under Rule 1.2? While disqualification is the sanction when behaviour is deemed to constitute “serious misconduct”, there is an out so to speak in the rule book, in that the committee can take the view that a warning may be appropriate. Koepka’s and Berger’s bad language and the tone of the words directed towards the officials went unpunished, but it certainly warrants a look into future captains’ agreements to ensure that such behaviour isn’t tolerated." - Phillip Reid

The Mirror

Ryder Cup 2021
Ryder Cup 2021

Team USA player Collin Morikawa plays his shot from the fourth tee during his singles match at the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Photo by Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

"Team USA have humiliated Europe by recording the biggest-ever Ryder Cup victory, beating Padraig Harrington's side 19-9. It's a result that will haunt Europe for a long time to come, but they were simply beaten by the better team - with the US possessing eight of the world's top 10 players. The hosts reached the required 14-and-a-half points needed for a victory with Collin Morikawa, of all people after an incredible year, sealing the deal following a draw with Viktor Hovland. And from there on in, the party continued at Whistling Straits as the US went onto make history with the record-breaking winning margin." - Jonathan Spencer

The Scotsman

Team USA's Patrick Cantlay reacts to his putt on the third hole during his Sunday singles match at the 43rd Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin. Photo by Ashley Landis/Associated Press

"After finding themselves in Dire Straits at Whistling Straits following the opening two days in the 43rd edition, there was no way back for Padraig Harrington’s team in the concluding singles session. Despite a gutsy win from Rory McIlroy at the top of the order, Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau all delivered early points for the US as the scoreboard turned into a sea of red before the win was clinched for Steve Stricker’s side through a half point from Open champion Collin Morikawa. ... On paper, this was the strongest-ever American team to go into battle in the biennial contest and, from start to finish, they lived up to that tag, leaving the Europeans licking their wounds for once after being well and truly pounded. ... Lowry isn’t the type to throw in the towel and, after being three down heading to the back nine, he briefly raised hopes of salvaging the situation by getting back to within striking distance by taking the 10th and 12th, both with birdies. Cantlay is a cool customer, though, and he went on to claim his point with a 4&2 success, which came shortly Scheffler had claimed a notable scalp in his first head-to-head match on this stage." - Martin Dempster

The Sun

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas

Team USA players celebrate with champagne during the trophy presentation after winning the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, in Haven, Wisconsin. Photo by Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Captain Padraig Harrington and his players must have felt like crying every time they looked at the scoreboards on a dismal Sunday in Wisconsin. The water level in Lake Michigan might have risen by a few inches from the outpouring of emotions, with the Americans also weeping tears of joy after a record triumph. And it gets even more upsetting when you realise this was the youngest ever American team, with an average age of just 29. AND an average world ranking of NINE! AND it was a team containing six rookies, who are only going to become even tougher to beat in future matches. That adds up to compelling evidence that we are on the verge of an era of American Ryder Cup dominance, to rival Europe’s glorious sequence of seven wins from the nine precious matches. Of course, some things will be different when the American gladiators fly over to Rome to do battle at the Coliseum - sorry the Marco Simone course - in two years time. - David Facey and Sam Morgan

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