The United States came into the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club as the overwhelming favorites on paper, but with all things Ryder Cup, nothing is guaranteed. This year was no different.
The Americans got off to a blistering start on Friday, opening the Ryder Cup with a 4-0 victory in foursomes. The Friday afternoon four-ball matches went to the Europeans, who bounced back by winning three of the four matches.
Saturday foursomes also finished in favor of the Europeans, who won two of the four and halved a third match and were led by Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup rookie Thomas Pieters. Saturday four-ball swung the momentum back to the U.S. side as they collected three wins and were bolstered by Patrick Reed’s fiery performance.
Of course everyone wanted to see a Patrick Reed vs Rory McIlroy singles showdown on Sunday and that’s exactly what we got. On paper, McIlroy is clearly the better player and even though he grew into the villain this week, Reed thrives on match play. The two fought until the end, with “Captain America” emerging victorious.
Jordan Spieth lost his match three and two to Henrik Stenson.
J.B. Holmes lost his match to Ryder Cup rookie Thomas Pieters.
Rickie Fowler beat Justin Rose in what most believe was an upset considering how Rickie has been playing as of late.
Rafa Cabrera Bello showed up PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker three and two.
Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia had probably the best match of the Ryder Cup. Mickelson made 10 birdies and Sergio still managed to halve the match. It was a spectacular performance by both Ryder Cup veterans.
Ryder Cup rookie Brooks Koepka blew out Danny Willett five and four.
Brandt Snedeker had been a putting machine all weekend and he won his match against Andy Sullivan three and one.
The clinching point was provided by Ryan Moore, who was the final captain’s pick. Moore was two down entering the 16th hole. He eagled the par-5 16th, birdied the par-3 17th, and made par on the 18th as veteran Lee Westwood could match none of them.
Zach Johnson won his match over Matthew Fitzpatrick four and three.
Dustin Johnson defeated Chris Wood one-up to end his spectacular season that included a major championship, two other tournament wins and a second place finish in the FedExCup standings. He was also voted Player of the Year and won the Vardon Trophy.
The final match to finish was between Matt Kuchar and Martin Kaymer. Kuchar was three-up on Kaymer, but Kaymer, who clinched the win at Medinah for the Europeans, fought back and finished one-up.
Thomas Pieters is going to be a formidable opponent for the U.S. for years to come. He played spectacular golf.
Danny Willett got blown out by Brooks Koepka. Any word on Willett’s brother?
Bubba Watson was in tears.
Davis Love III got his redemption for Medinah.