Europe regains the Ryder Cup from the USA. New stars like Norwegian Viktor Hovland shine in this edition. But the last day unexpectedly turns into an exciting affair.
The final day of the Ryder Cup was supposed to be a rally for Europe's golfers. But sometimes it got a mess. Led by star players Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland – ranked second to fourth in the world rankings – the home team quickly raised the score to 14 in the singles matches at the Marco Simone Club near Rome, half of the 28 points to be awarded. . Because they started as rivals to defending champion USA, they needed 14.5 points to win. The half point redemption has been a long time coming.
It was England's Tommy Fleetwood in the penultimate match of the day who secured Europe's victory. With two holes remaining in the match against Rickie Fowler, Fleetwood had a two-hole lead. The Americans hung their heads, the comeback was over, and in the end the score was 16.5 to 11.5. Europe saved the lead until the end it had already taken in doubles on day one – and the historic golf party of the last few days in Rome reached its long-awaited climax.
Two years after the record 9:19 defeat, the Europeans brought back the Ryder Cup. This trophy means so much to the players that Masters champion Rahm said he “couldn't stop crying” at the start of the week because of the emotional videos with which European captain Luke Donald got the players in the mood for the tense continental tournament. a race. 50,000 enthusiastic spectators cheered the European team across the stadium – and in several valleys.
The Scandinavians dismantle the top American duo
It all started so easy and fun. Thanks to a historic first showing of a tournament without dropping points for Europe on Friday morning, the score was 4-0. For the first time in the tournament's 96-year history, the United States did not win a match on the entire first day, drawing only three times (6.5:1.5).
The Europeans defended their lead on Saturday (10.5:5.5), as Norwegian Hovland achieved the biggest win in history with Swedish newcomer Ludwig Aberg. Against world number one Scottie Scheffler and five-time major winner Brooks Koepka, the Scandinavians had to play just eleven holes, and then the score was 9 and 7: nine holes won with seven remaining.
The dismantling of the supposed American duo confirmed the age-old wisdom that the Ryder Cup has its own rules. In the atmosphere of team competition on the soccer field, unlikely champions are created and established champions are diminished. Group dynamics and vibrations in the atmosphere can create incredible tensions and allow players to outdo themselves. Just like in the episode that gave the United States a small chance to reach the final day.
Cantlay plays without a hat – and gets ridiculed
On Saturday afternoon, a story from British broadcaster Sky Sports broke about the arena. American professional Patrick Cantlay plays without a team hat in protest against the fact that the twelve selected American golfers only have to compete for fame and honor but without pay. Cantlay later called the report “completely false.” But in ironic reaction to his refusal to take part in international matches, European fans happily waved their hats at him (“Hats off to your bank account”).
– Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) September 30, 2023
Motivated by this, Cantlay became the standout player of the afternoon and won the doubles with Wyndham Clarke against McIlroy and partner Matt Fitzpatrick with a volley from 15 metres. An argument ensued between McIlroy and his caddy Cantlay as he celebrated his boss's coup by waving his hat excessively and staying too long in the row McIlroy wanted to study for his putt. The verbal battle continued in the parking lot after the match.
McIlroy took advantage of the incident to “stoke the fire even more,” as he put it, to fire up the Europeans again. The four-time major winner has proven to be the leader of his team. And in the days leading up to the tournament, he had already announced that all the lamentation over the absence of Ryder Cup legends such as Spaniard Sergio Garcia had ended due to their move to the LIV Saudi Tour: “You will miss having you here more than having us here.” “It seemed harsh, but he looked forward and was proven right in the end.
Europe has not been defeated at home in 30 years
With Hovland, 26, the new European Ryder Cup star may have proven himself for many years to come. Fans love the Norwegian for his boyish charm and sense of decisive moments. It was Hovland who set the tone for the entire Cup with a holeshot putt on the first hole on Friday.
It was he who achieved the clearest European victory on Sunday. Like Tyrrell Hatton (England), he contributed 3.5 points to the European victory, Rahm and Fleetwood got 3 points, and McIlroy got 4 points.
Europe has not been defeated at home in 30 years. In two years, the goal will be to win away from home for the first time since 2012 in Bethpage, New York.
Viktor Hovland is growing beyond himself at the Ryder Cup.
Guidonia near Rome. Ryder Cup Europe – USA, final score 16.5:11.5. Sunday. 12 singles (6:6): Jon Rahm – Scotty Scheffler participated. Viktor Hovland with Colin Morikawa 4 and 3. Justin Rose and Patrick Cantlay 2 and 1. Rory McIlroy with Sam Burns 3 and 1. Matthew Fitzpatrick and Max Homa 1. Tyrell Hatton Brian Harman 3 and 2. Ludwig Aberg and Brooks Koepka 3 and 2. Sepp Straka And Justin Thomas 2nd down. Nicolai Hougaard and Xander Scheufele 3 and 2. Shane Lowry – Jordan Spieth joint. Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler 3 and 1, Robert McIntyre, Wyndham Clarke 2 and 1.
Saturday afternoon. Vorball (1:3): Hovland/Aberg and Burns/Morikawa 4 and 3. Fleetwood/Hoggard and Homa/Harman 2 and 1. Rose/McIntyre with Thomas/Spieth 3 and 2. Fitzpatrick/McIlroy and Cantlay/Clarke 1. .
Saturday morning. Quad (3:1): McIlroy/Fleetwood S. Thomas/Sspieth 2 and 1. Hovland/Aberg S. Schaeffler/Kopka 9 and 7. Lowry/Straka and Homa/Harman 4 and 2. Ram/Hutton S. Cantlay/Schuffles 2 and 1.
Friday afternoon. Vorball (2.5: 1.5): Hovland/Hatton – shared by Thomas/Spieth. Rahm/Hooggaard-Scheffler/Kopka combined. McIntyre/Rose – Homa/Clarke involved. McIlroy/Fitzpatrick See Morikawa/Schauffele 5 and 3.
Friday morning. Quadruple (4:0): Rahm/Hatton S. Scheffler/Burns 4 and 3. Hovland/Aberg S Houma/Harman 4 and 3. Lowry/Straka S. Fowler/Morikawa 2 and 1. McIlroy/Fleetwood S. Chavell/Cantlie 2 and 1
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