USA wins Ryder Cup in dominant fashion

The Americans dominated the Europeans early and rode their lead to victory


Nick Hayman, Staff Writer

Over the weekend, the U.S. won the 2021 edition of the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in what is now being called the “Slaughter by the Water”. Of the 28 points up for grabs, the American team finished with the largest margin of victory in the 94-year history of the Ryder Cup, beating the European team 19-9.

The U.S. teams’ success was headlined by Dustin Johnson (5-0-0), Collin Morikawa (3-0-1), Patrick Cantlay (3-0-1) and Xander Schauffelle (3-1-0). With 24 of the best golfers in the world competing against each other, and with the weight of their countries on their shoulders, there is quite a bit to unpack from this past weekend.

On Friday, Sept. 24, the American and European teams descended upon Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wis. Heading into Friday’s matches, headlines buzzed around the American and European teams, and the anticipation leading up to the first tee shots was immense. For the U.S., many golf fans questioned whether the American players had the chemistry to win together. The Ryder Cup is one of the few team events in golf, and many of the top American golfers are set in their own individual ways when on the course.

Despite their immense talent (of the top 25 players in the World Golf Rankings, 12 are American, whereas five are European), the U.S. had performed poorly in recent Ryder Cups, losing seven out of the last nine matchups.

On the other side, apart from world No. 1 Jon Rahm, the Europeans were severely outgunned by the Americans’ star power. On top of that, this Ryder Cup was an away contest for the Europeans, meaning they had to stay calm and collected amidst the screams of a sold-out crowd of rowdy American fans.

The U.S. got off to a quick start during the Friday morning slate of foursomes, winning three of the four matches to go up 3-1.

The most impressive performances of the morning came from Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffelle, who opened their match by winning the first five holes, and eventually won 5-3 over Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter.

The U.S. continued to pour it on in the afternoon fourball matches, with Dustin Johnson/Xander Schauffelle and Harris English/Tony Finau both winning their matches without even seeing the 18th hole. Jon Rahm/Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood/Viktor Hovland both scratched and clawed their way to ties in the other two matches of the afternoon, and the U.S. took a strong 6-2 lead going into the weekend.

The American squad did not skip a beat when play resumed on Saturday morning. The home team won three of the four morning matches, with their only loss coming to the seemingly unbeatable Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia pairing.

Saturday afternoon featured some of the most exciting golf of the weekend, with Bryson Dechambeau/Scottie Scheffler winning their match 3-1 and thrilling spectators with their deadly combination of distance and accuracy off the tee. The Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa pairing made quick work of Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy, and the sunset over Whistling Straits Golf Course as the U.S. held an 11-5 lead over the Europeans.

Going into Sunday, the American team needed only 3.5 points to get to 14.5 and secure a victory. How- ever, recent FedEx Cup champion Pat- rick Cantlay had other plans, telling the media that he wanted “to get to 20 points and make a statement.” While they ended up falling one shy of the 20-point mark, the U.S. team put an exclamation point on their Ryder Cup victory by winning seven matches and tying two matches to win 19-9.

In the hours following the conclusion of the Ryder Cup, the American players celebrated with champagne and cigars and met with the media to discuss the events of the day. The overall mood was joyous and the players made it clear that they saw their recent victory at Whistling Straits as a step in the right direction toward their vision of “a new era of American golf.”