SHEBOYGAN, Wis. –
The tide turned on the shores of Lake Michigan.
For years, suppressed Team USA got off to a dominant start in the Ryder Cup by confidently finishing Europe in the Whistling Straits.
It took Collin Morikawa half a point to push the Americans over the top and nearly made the 222 yard par three hole on Aug.
The 24-year-old from La Canada Flintridge got a head start with one hole to play and guaranteed his team half the point it took to reach the magic number of 14½ points. He clenched his fist and held up his arms as he calmly exited the 17th green.
On a day when the home team only needed 3½ points to take the trophy, rookie Scottie Scheffler set the tone, defeating Jon Rahm, the world number one who hadn’t lost all week.
Scheffler made the first four holes with a birdie to get a 4-up and then led the remainder of the game with either three or four on his way to a 4-and-3 win.
American rookie Patrick Cantlay defeated Shane Lowry 4 and 2.
“This is definitely different,” said Cantlay, a former UCLA star from Long Beach. “I mean, I woke up this morning and tried to tell the boys – this is going to be the next era of the Ryder Cup team for the US team. We have a lot of young people and I think they will be in teams for a long time. “
Although Europe had significantly lower competitors on average in the world rankings, Europe had won four of the last five matches.
But this time around, the US proved unstoppable behind a wave of rising American stars. After the first two days, the Americans enjoyed an 11-5 advantage – and no team had ever overcome such a large gap.
Though Americans gave plenty of hand rings about how the long-lashing, bulbous Bryson DeChambeau would fit in, this polarizing star proved to be a key component in the win. He and Scheffler combined to win their four-ball match on Saturday, and on Sunday DeChambeau beat Sergio Garcia to bring the United States to victory by half a point.
“Although we’re all competitors this week,” said DeChambeau, “we can all be friends and have an amazing unit.”
While Rahm lost the whole week for the first time, teammate Rory McIlroy celebrated his first win and ended a series of five defeats in Paris in 2018. The four-time major champion from Northern Ireland defeated San Diego’s Xander Schauffele with 3 and 2.
McIlroy, who played in his sixth Ryder Cup, was emotional in a Golf Channel interview after his match and struggled to hold back tears.
“I never really cried or cared about what I did as an individual,” he said. “I couldn’t give when-” At the end of the interview he added politely, “I’m sorry I swore at the time.”