Could Europe have done anything to avoid a record-breaking Ryder Cup 2020 defeat? Is this the beginning of a new era for Team USA? Mark Roe reflects on Steve Stricker’s side’s dominating triumph at Whistling Straits.
Let us simply enjoy an incredible American team that played wonderfully on a fantastic course in front of a fantastic crowd. Take pleasure in the quality of the American team.
This could be the best-prepared American team in history. In their current form, they were far superior to the Europeans, and everyone on Steve Stricker’s side stepped up to the plate.
Consider Collin Morikawa’s summer, Patrick Cantlay’s run through the FedExCup season, and Tony Finau’s success in a FedExCup playoff event. So many of their guys were out of shape when it counted.
Dustin Johnson went 5-0 to become the first person since Larry Nelson to do so, despite the fact that he was not as hot as many of the others prior to the tournament. Brooks Koepka, who was half-injured on the way in, also scored two points.
It used to appear that Europe was the team with all the togetherness and energy, and that the Americans were 12 individuals, but that no longer appears to be the case. Whatever transpired, whatever lessons were learnt, the United States now has a stronger team spirit. These are multi-millionaire superstars, but the Ryder Cup now appears to be far more significant on their resumes.
We have a lot of quality European players, but many of them appeared to have peaked earlier in the season and were simply drifting a little bit coming in. The Americans, on the other hand, did not have a player outside the top 21 in the world rankings and had eight of the top ten on their team.
I’m not going to criticise Padraig Harrington in any way, shape, or form, even though some may after such a humiliating setback. This was a golfing juggernaut on the move, and you weren’t going to slow it down.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence that so many players arrive in such good shape for the Ryder Cup. The entire environment was a collection of superstars coming together for the first time in harmony, a perfect storm if you will. Some of the golf was simply phenomenal, and no one can live up to that standard.
You can alter the world and revolutionise Ryder Cup 2020 selection and how we do things, but we won’t say that until we win. We’ve had a tremendous run in recent years, and you still have to accept that home advantage is huge, with the home team winning seven of the last eight.
We don’t have to make drastic changes. The only thing we could adjust is the time frame for qualifying, which ended a couple of weeks ago at the BMW PGA Championship, and possibly the players could use a little more time.
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