Ryder Cup: USA make sure of victory as Europe face thrashing

By Sports Desk September 26, 2021

Collin Morikawa holed the putt that guaranteed the United States would win the Ryder Cup as the hosts headed for a wide-margin triumph over Europe on Sunday at Whistling Straits.

Defending champions Europe entered the final day 11-5 down and required the biggest comeback in the history of the competition, with the USA needing just 3.5 points to win back the trophy.

The hosts built a 6-2 lead after day one, which increased to a six-shot advantage after Saturday afternoon's four-ball sessions, despite a minor fightback from Padraig Harrington's team.

Shane Lowry and Tyrrell Hatton combined with Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, who did not lose a game together, to invoke memories of the 'Miracle at Medinah', but Steve Stricker's men quashed prospects of a comeback on Sunday in the singles.

Rory McIlroy kicked off Europe's hopes of a comeback as he managed his first win of this year's cup by cruising past Xander Schauffele, before Patrick Cantlay cancelled out the impact of that victory out by defeating Lowry.

Scottie Scheffler fired in five birdies in the opening six holes and there was no coming back for Rahm in that match, before Bryson DeChambeau put the American side within touching distance after downing all-time leading Ryder Cup point scorer Garcia.

Morikawa sealed the deal in just the fifth match as he launched his tee shot within tap-in range on the 17th, and with opponent Viktor Hovland unable to sink a long putt, the USA were assured of at least the half point they required to secure the trophy.

Morikawa squandered a chance on the final hole to win his match outright, but his half point was enough to secure the USA's third win in the last 10 meetings between the teams.

Dustin Johnson also had an opportunity to secure the winning point on the 17th, but he pushed his putt wide against Paul Casey as he was made to wait for the confirmation of his 5-0 record, before Brooks Koepka coasted past Bernd Wiesberger to add shine to an emphatic triumph.

Johnson was attempting to become just the third player to achieve the perfect record in the era of Europe versus the United States, after Larry Nelson in 1979 and Francesco Molinari in 2018.

The USA were looking good to possibly pass 20 points, which would be a record-breaking haul as the hosts dominated in Wisconsin from start to finish.

Morikawa said of the victory moment: "It means so much. I wanted to make that putt. It was a great match against Viktor. To clinch this and bring the cup back to home soil, it feels so good."

USA captain Steve Stricker said on The Golf Channel: "These guys came together two weeks ago. They had a mission this week, you could tell it. They played great. Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together, that's how much it came together. That shows a lot about this whole team.

"This is a new era for USA golf. They come with a lot of passion, a lot of energy, a lot of game. They're just so good."

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