Twenty points. It was an outrageous goal, though with the confidence – let’s even say cockiness – the US Ryder Cup squad was feeling at Whistling Straits after the first two days, it truly did seem gettable.
“I woke up this morning and I was trying to tell the guys, ‘Let’s get to 20 points,’” Patrick Cantlay said on Sunday evening. “Because this is going to be the next era of Ryder Cup teams for the US side. We’ve got a lot of young guys and I think they’ll be on teams for a long time, and I wanted to send a message.”
The 29-year-old recent winner of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup nearly got his wish. With seven wins in 12 singles matches, the youngest-ever American team claimed Ryder Cup history in scoring 19 points to Europe’s 9. It’s the most points scored by any team since the Americans began playing all of Continental Europe in 1979, and so it’s also the most lopsided win.
Europe reached 18-and-a-half twice before (in 2004 and 2006), and the US scored 18-and-a-half in 1981.
Here are 10 other impressive numbers from the big American win:
• The three par-5 holes at Whistling Straits had a huge part in the US win. The Americans won 34 times on them, shooting 46-under par. Europe captured only 14 at 22-under.
• The US won or tied all five sessions for the first time since 1967.
• It’s the first time the US has won two consecutive times at home since 1983.
• The six American rookies combined for a record of 14-4-3, including three who went undefeated – Collin Morikawa (3-0-1), Patrick Cantlay (3-0-1) and Scottie Scheffler (2-0-1).
• Nine of the 12 Americans had winning records. Those who didn’t: Jordan Spieth (1-2-1), Harris English (1-2-0), Tony Finau (1-2-0).
• The three European rookies – Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland, Bernd Wiesberger – combined to go 1-8-2.
• In beating Tony Finau 3&2, Ian Poulter raised his singles record to 6-0-1. Poulter was 0-2 in his other matches.
• Paul Casey had the worst showing among the Europeans, going 0-4 after entering this year with a 4-3-5 mark.
• Spain went 6-2-1, thanks to Jon Rahm (3-1-1) and Sergio Garcia (3-1-0).
PHOTO: Richard Heathcote