Paul Casey, who last played at the 2008 Ryder Cup, also shone on his return – halving with Brooks Koepka to prevent the USA from reeling off four straight wins to start Sunday.
The narrow and beautifully manicured fairways, lush rough and gleaming expanses of water were easy on the eye but the course, while pretty, packed a punch as the Americans discovered to their cost in a 17.5-10.5 defeat.
“This means more than majors, more than anything”, said Molinari, who won all four pairs matches with Tommy Fleetwood in another European first. The Europeans have now claimed the Ryder Cup in four of the last five tournaments.
Europe already was assured the 14 ½ points it needed because they were guaranteed halves in two matches.
For a blow-by-blow account of an enthralling final day, check out Mike Norman’s piece on “How the Ryder Cup was won”.
Rory McIlroy believes Padraig Harrington would be the ideal man for the job when Europe appoint their captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Won all three of his matches, including his singles match against Bubba Watson, 5 and 4.
He wasn’t alone. Tiger Woods went 0-4, the first time in his eight Ryder Cups that he failed to contribute a single point. After all he endured to get back here, and after the success he had along the way, the Ryder Cup pain is undeniable. Woods was one of at least three players heard to use the word “f–” during the day – along with McIlroy and Justin Thomas, while golfing traditionalists would nearly certainly have been offended by some of the other behaviour on display. The world’s top-ranked player, Dustin Johnson, fell 2 and 1 to Ian Poulter of England. My pre-tournament bets yielded over 19 units profit, from backing Thomas at [8.0] and getting a tied place out of Webb Simpson. They combined to go 6-1.
“History will show me and everybody on that team that this is not over”. They (the Europeans) do that better than us. He did fall to a struggling Reed in singles, though.
Francesco Molinari, the star of these matches, capped off his 5-0 week by beating Mickelson in singles. As for Poults, how could you not pick him with his Ryder record, and his comeback this year?’ Thomas Bjorn picked him anyway, saying he was like the captain of a football team. “If you had tried that in 2002, the nutritionist wouldn’t have got far”, said the captain with a smile.Bjørn is perfectly happy to admit a 17.5 to 10.5 thumping by Europe was beyond his wildest dreams.
For the USA team, Le Golf National was very much an acquired taste. He paired nicely with Spieth, meaning that the Spieth-Patrick Reed pairing is definitely over.
Good news for the Americans when it comes to next road Ryder Cup and the 2022 venue in Italy.
“That’s four points to the European team”, Woods said.
Answered his doubters with a nice showing in Paris.
Yes, Spieth earned three points and went 3-2.
Europe dominated the singles, just like they did almost every session.
Won his opening four-ball match alongside Finau, but didn’t win again.
It’s true it blunted the power advantage of men like Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Thomas and Tony Finau and it inspired comment from many including David Leadbetter and Sam Torrance that here was the way to address the problem of the modern ball flying too far and obsoleting so numerous world’s great courses. Also, the post-match criticism of Spieth and Furyk was unnecessary, regardless of whether he was right or not. Even in a blowout, there are dozens of moments that, while not exactly great if you’re a US fan, will be remembered for years and years.
It was just the Danish rookie’s second match of the competition, having only featured once across the fourballs and foursomes over the first two days.