For the US, it’s a time for celebration. For Europe, reflection on where it all went wrong.
Here, bunkered’s Bryce Ritchie and Michael McEwan rate every player on each side. Have a read and see if you agree with our guys’ verdict…
Had more of a point to prove than most this week, having never won a point in his his previous two Ryder Cup matches. On top of that, he had to justify his place on the team as a captain’s pick. Under those circumstances, two points out of three is a great return. The big difference in Fowler this week? Maturity. There were no silly moustaches or giant ‘USA’ lettering shaved into his head. He just got on with the job and did it well.
The big-hitting Kentucky man continued his proud of record of winning every time he has represented his country in a team matchplay competition. The Palmer Cup, Walker Cup, Presidents Cup and now the Ryder Cup twice, Holmes has never lost in the red, white and blue of the USA. This time around, he contributed only one point from a possible three but, with that record, he’s almost a lucky charm for the US.
The highest ranked player in either team, much was rightly expected from DJ this week. Did he deliver? Not particularly. He won twice and lost twice, one of those wins coming in the singles where he laboured to a one-up victory over European rookie Chris Wood. Not his best week but, in the end, it didn’t need to be.
Would have finished comfortably outside the qualification spots had his Open Championship victory in July 2015 not contributed towards the team. Still, bagged two points from three, including a thumping take-down of English rookie Matt Fitzpatrick on Sunday. Needs to have a word with his caddie about that God-awful ‘birdie’ dance, though…
Only three years ago, this guy was playing on the Challenge Tour. With the greatest of respect to the European Tour’s second tier, the 28-year-old Floridian is now performing on a stage more befitting of his talents. Has all the shots, allied with an outstanding temperament (never too up, never too down). Some people think he’s a future world No.1. If he can continue to produce the form that earned him three points out of four this week, he’ll probably get there – before too long, too.
Had to rely on a captain’s pick to be involved at Hazeltine but largely repaid the faith shown in him by Davis Love, winning two points from four matches. Was narrowly beaten by an otherwise out-of-sorts Martin Kaymer towards the bottom of the singles order but, by that time, the trophy had been won.
Needed to produce the goods, particularly after what he had to say about Tom Watson after Gleneagles in 2014, his role in the much-vaunted ‘Task Force’, and after causing a stooshie with his comments about Hal Sutton at the beginning of the week. There were also questions raised about his involvement in the team room, where some said he undermined captain Love with his influence. As it turned out, he mostly delivered, with two-and-a-half points from four, a bare statistic that doesn’t even begin to tell the story of his performance against Sergio Garcia in their epic halved singles match (they both ‘shot’ 63s). He might not be entirely forgiven for the things he has done but this week has vindicated Phil.
Secured the winning point less than a week after he found out he was even on the team. The Tour Championship runner-up cut something of a forlorn-looking figure in the early part of the week and didn’t even make it down to the first tee on Friday morning as he was reportedly too ‘tired’. Looked thoroughly underwhelmed by the experience when he made his debut alongside JB Holmes on the Friday afternoon in their defeat to Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello but warmed to the occasion, crucially winning both of his next two matches.
Great at Gleneagles; heroic at Hazeltine. Reed bagged three-and-a-half points from five matches, including an epic singles win over Rory McIlroy, to further enhance his incredible Ryder Cup credentials. He has now won six times in nine Ryder Cup matches, losing only once. By his own admission, he gets ‘energised’ every time he wears the red, white and blue of his country. It brings out the very best in him. His erstwhile playing partner Jordan Spieth reckons he is ‘as good as anybody who has played on this stage’. On this evidence, nobody would disagree – and he’ll be around to torment Europe for many more matches to come.
Three matches played, three points won. Not sure more needs to be said. An outstanding contribution from the Nashville man.
Not at the races, I’m afraid. Two-and-a-half points from five matches isn’t a terrible return but they came largely in spite of him and rather more because of the irresistible form of Reed. Missed too many putts that we have become used to seeing him make and hit some truly awful shots. May also be the first man in history to injure himself in a high-five. But hey, he’s won the cup. Fair play.
Davis Love could rightly have expected more from the PGA Championship winner than one point from three matches. Showed fleeting glimpses of his best form but was comfortably beaten by rookie Rafa Cabrera-Bello in the singles, which rather summed up his week. Good, but not great.