TEAM EUROPE (rated by Bryce Ritchie)
Rafa Cabrera Bello - 8 / 10
Magnificent. Took to the Ryder Cup like a duck to water. Found a partner in Sergio that was unbeaten but was then benched on the Saturday afternoon, which was an odd decision. Made the wise move to play more in the States this year and it paid off.
Matt Fitzpatrick - 3
Through absolutely no fault of his own, Fitzpatrick looked young, nervous and intimidated. He’s got his first Ryder Cup experience out of the way, and I doubt he’ll look back fondly on it. Only won four holes all week.
Sergio Garcia - 7
His golf was far better than his points total (two from five) suggests. Took part in arguably the finest match the Ryder Cup has ever seen (18 birdies between them, better ball 58 gross) against Phil Mickelson in the singles and, fittingly, walked away with his head held high. You get the idea - and not for the first time - that if Sergio could drain putts like Jordan Spieth he would be invincible. Take a bow.
Martin Kaymer - 4
Just didn’t play well enough. When he went three-down after seven in the singles, it looked like curtains. But what a fightback, winning four out of seven holes to win one-up. In the end, Kaymer’s point saved it from being the second largest winning margin in history.
Rory McIlroy - 8
Looked like a completely different golfer/person the entire week. An absolute powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm, it was only a matter of time before he ran out of steam. Or exploded. Met his match in Patrick Reed and served up an instant classic, despite the loss. Team Europe rode on the back of his energy – and it worked until he limped round Hazeltine’s back nine against Reed. The American fans still love him, which says it all. What a player.
Thomas Pieters - 9
Bloody hell. Played five times, won four points, and instantly added his name to the list of famous Belgians. Coached by an American having come through the US college system, Pieters turned up at Hazeltine and absolutely bossed it. He should be given some sort of award for bravery. Admittedly, he looked terrified on the first tee on the Friday morning and promptly lost – but he won every match after that. Critics scoffed at his inclusion as a wild card. They’re not scoffing anymore. Rory says he’ll partner him for the next 20 years. He’s earned everyone’s respect. A new star is born.
Justin Rose - 5
Showed desire for the fight and took the role of the experienced player on his shoulders but, in the end, the Englishman just didn’t play well enough. His dig at the course set-up was, in some way, slightly out of character. But we’ll forgive him.
Henrik Stenson - 6
Played much better than his points total suggests, probably due to the fact that he was the victim of an odd decision by Darren Clarke to end his partnership with Rose and, instead, shepherd young Matt Fitzpatrick in the Saturday morning foursomes, a match they lost. That match was a costly kick in the jewels for Europe in the grand scheme of things. Took the scalp of Jordan Spieth in the singles, making amends for his defeat to Patrick Reed at Gleneagles, which clearly still rankles with him. Gets an extra point for sense of humour in the face of adversity.
Andy Sullivan - 3
Played twice, lost twice. Hardly had any TV time, which is never a good sign at the Ryder Cup. Played in the Friday morning foursomes alongside McIlroy, losing by one hole, and then lost to 3&1 to Brandt Snedeker.
Lee Westwood - 5
If Westwood had holed his putt on 18 on the Saturday afternoon and won his singles match and Europe had somehow retained the cup, he would be the joint highest European Ryder Cup points-scorer in history, and a certified Ryder Cup legend. A controversial pick, Westwood sadly didn’t perform and none of the above happened. As such, he faced the wrath of angry Scots on Facebook who thought he was picked because he’s “Darren Clarke’s best pal”. He was picked because the team couldn't afford seven rookies, and Russell Knox didn’t show enough appetite to make the side. Graeme McDowell tweeted about ‘fine lines’ in Ryder Cups. Westwood will know all about that.
Danny Willett - 2
Argue all you want about whether his brother’s remarks were, in hindsight, right or wrong, Danny Willett should have been a key figure for Clarke’s side. I had him down as hitting the opening tee shot, partnering McIlroy. Instead, what his brother did was completely destroy any build up the Europeans had and, more significantly, put Danny on the back foot from the off. Sadly, he dragged the Masters champion down and, with him, Team Europe. As a schoolteacher, PJ Willett should know better; the empty can rattles the most.
Chris Wood - 5
Lost in the haze of this Ryder Cup was the performance of Chris Wood. He partnered Justin Rose to victory in the Saturday morning foursomes and put up a gallant fight against a resurgent Dustin Johnson in the singles, losing by one hole. A gutsy performance from a genuinely good guy.
Ryder Cup: Player Ratings - Your Thoughts?
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