Shane Ryan’s book “The Cup They Couldn’t Lose” tackles the great Ryder Cup mystery: why Europe kept winning and how America got its groove back at Whistling Straits?

Author Shane Ryan provides the definitive explanation for the European renaissance in the Ryder Cup and how America got its groove back.

No offense to the many other accounts of the Ryder Cup through the years, but “The Cup They Couldn’t Lose: America, the Ryder Cup and the Long Road to Whistling Straits (Hachette, $29),” provides the definitive explanation for the European renaissance in the Ryder Cup and how America got its groove back.

Heading to Whistling Straits last September, the great mystery of the Ryder Cup had been that America routinely lost despite having the superior team. “You know, if I could put my finger on it, we would have changed this bleep a long time ago,” said losing 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk.

That quote from the prologue perfectly encompasses what Ryan sets out to do in the 289 pages that follow. He puts more than a finger on it; he diagnoses what he terms “the 40-year disease” in astounding detail, artfully piecing together the history of this biennial match-play event pitting teams of 12 players each from the United States versus initially, Great Britain and Ireland, and since 1979, players from throughout Europe.

The section on England’s Tony Jacklin, who established a template that has been passed down from one European captain to the next, alone is worth the price of the book, and included this description of Lanny Wadkins that should be added to his Hall of Fame plaque: “Wadkins was the cockiest son of a bitch you ever met in 10 lifetimes. He was an arrogant bastard, But in the nicest way.” Jacklin served as captain for four Cups spanning from 1983-1989, and you could argue the Euros are still running much of Jacklin’s playbook.

“If 1983 had been the warning shot, and 1985 had proved that the Europeans were a winning team, at least at home, 1987 was the victory that transformed the Ryder Cup forever,” Ryan writes in emphasizing Jacklin’s importance.

Ryan tabs the period from 1983-1999 the golden age of the Ryder Cup when all but one match was decided by two points or less. It’s during this period that Team USA had its head in the sand as to why it continued to struggle despite often being the favorite.

“They adhered to the mindset that a Ryder Cup among equal talents is essentially random, that sometimes they would play better, and sometimes the Europeans would, but all thoughts of strategy or team building were blown out of proportion. Call it arrogance, complacency, or lack of imagination, but they stuck to this belief even as the results showed a pattern that was anything but random,” Ryan writes. “The Americans has been too successful for too long on the strength of talent alone to study the lesson. In that sense, they were victims of their own success, and it would be years before they could humble themselves enough to learn.”

Jack Nicklaus congratulates Tony Jacklin for a tied match at the 1969 Ryder Cup. (AP files)

The 2008 match, where Nick Faldo captained the Euros and Paul Azinger was at the helm of the U.S., “was perhaps the purest test of the old question: Did the captaincy matter?”

Azinger, America’s one outside-the-box thinker, was a winner on home soil, conceiving the pod system and getting the most out a U.S. lineup that featured the likes of Chad Campbell, Boo Weekely and Ben Curtis. Azinger wanted the captaincy again in 2010 and should’ve been given it. Instead, the PGA turned to Corey Pavin and a stretch where each captain approached the Ryder Cup in their own way, with little to no continuity.

“There were plenty of lessons to be learned,” Ryan writes. “They learned none.”

Paul Azinger was able to sell his ’08 American team as underdogs, and the attitude paid off.

The Miracle at Medinah in 2012, when the Euros rallied from a 10-6 deficit was exactly that – a miracle. “Whatever quibble you have with Davis Love III’s strategy, his loss at Medinah was a fluke, built on a pyramid of absurd longshots coming through one after another, and if any of them failed, Europe would have lost.”

There’s a whole chapter, an interlude titled “Why does Europe win?” where Ryan diagnoses the seven most-common theories for the 40-year disease, including old standbys that the Americans just need to play better and Europeans just like each other more. (Ryan quotes an oldie but goodie from a Euro vet explaining their team chemistry: “We get together for a week, we get along, and when it’s over, we all go back to hating Monty.”)

Ryan’s narrative moves briskly back and forth between the drama in Wisconsin while deconstructing the fascinating history and evolution of this 93-year-old competition. He delves deep into the brilliant mind of 2014 Euro captain Paul McGinley, while also explaining the mistakes made by past U.S. captains that led to the infamous U.S. Task Force in 2014.

From left, Europe’s players Jamie Donaldson, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose pour champagne over captain Paul McGinley as they celebrate winning the 2014 Ryder Cup.

It all came to a head in the post-match press conference after a beatdown at Gleneagles in Scotland when Phil Mickelson threw U.S. Captain Tom Watson under the bus. Ryan writes of the 2014 debacle, noting it “embodied the stereotypes of the past four decades – brutal efficiency through hyper-organization on the European side, and rank dysfunction on the American side – that the contrast demanded to be recognized. When the mess was over, it was no longer possible to say with any credibility that the Ryder Cup was simply a test of which individuals played better. The effect of management was so obvious that even the most dyed-in-the-wool stubborn American couldn’t pretend everything was fine…It’s the Ryder Cup that broke the Americans.”

And also, he points out, “the one that set them free.”

The Task Force was a necessary evil and while the changes implemented in its aftermath “may not sound like earth-shattering ideas…what may look like foundational elements for any team sport, or even a business, are plainly not obvious in an individualized sport like golf,” Ryan writes.

The showdown at Whistling Straits is at the center of this book and Ryan takes us inside all of the back-room decision-making. He’s at his best when he’s picking apart the shortcomings of Euro Captain Padraig Harrington, taking us into the childhood home of USA Captain Steve Stricker and a meeting with his parents and detailing the importance analytics played in determining the various captain’s picks and who paired well together in foursomes and four-ball.

Ryan provides a road map that details how after a slew of embarrassing defeats, Team U.S.A. won in record fashion in 2021, with its six rookies combining for a 14-4-3 record.

“I think the most important thing for the U.S. team is a lot of young guys that are great players have bought into the Ryder Cup,” Rory McIlroy said. “I think that was probably missing in previous generations.”

Now the question remains: did the U.S. victory on home soil represent a generational shift and a sea change in America’s fortunes?

“Even in an era when home course advantage is massive,” Ryan concludes, “it’s clear that America is operating from a position of strength, and Europe from a position of hope.”

It will have been 30 years since America won on the road when these two proud competitors next meet. Sounds like the subject for a sequel in Italy in 2023.

Justin Thomas on his chug-off with Daniel Berger at the Ryder Cup: ‘I wasn’t going to chug it very quickly so I Gronk spiked it’

Thomas decided to have an ice-cold adult beverage while watching his teammates at the Ryder Cup.

The 43rd Ryder Cup was an unfair fight. The young, overpowering Americans dismantled the Europeans with little resistance on their way to consecutive wins on home soil. The team felt different. All the problems coming into the week — team chemistry, less experience than the Euros, among other things — seemed to melt away when the first session teed up on Friday morning.

Justin Thomas, making his second appearance in the Ryder Cup, played in all but one match throughout the week at Whistling Straits. That session just so happened to be the Four-ball matches on Saturday afternoon. Like many fans in the crowd, Thomas decided to have an ice-cold adult beverage while watching his teammates tee it up off the first.

“(Daniel) Berger and I — cause I guess that’s a Wisconsin thing that they do at the Bucks games — that lineman they have just houses a beer,” Thomas told Chris Soloman of No Laying Up during a podcast interview. “He’s like ‘should we do it?’ and I’m like ‘dude we can’t chug a beer, we just can’t do this.’

“But we went out there and started throwing stuff into the stands, and then they kept chanting and kept chanting. Then two people threw two beers down, and we just kind of looked at each other and I’m like, ‘I mean we gotta get these guys going, I guess we gotta do it.’

[vertical-gallery id=778162894]

“Since there was a hole in it I couldn’t shotgun it, and I turned it around and Berger already had a key in it. He had his fraternity days from Florida State take him back. I knew I wasn’t going to chug it very quickly so I Gronk spiked it.”

The Americans would eventually split the Four-ball session with Europe.

Thomas also touched on Tiger Woods during the interview saying he and the 15-time major champion are in constant contact. “He’s still his sarcastic-ass self, so nothing has changed there, so I’m glad to see that he’s still chipper as always.”

Playing Captain Tiger Woods of the United States team and Justin Thomas of the United States team celebrate on the 18th green during Friday foursome matches on day two of the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on December 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

He was also asked if he thinks Woods will ever play on Tour again.

“I don’t see him ever playing if he can’t play well. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who’s played at home and he’s shooting a bunch of 75s and 76s and he’s like, ‘OK, I’m gonna give Augusta a try this year.’ That’s not really gonna be him, at least from my understanding, what I know of him.”

We’ll have to wait and see about Woods, but his Hero World Challenge is scheduled for December 2-5, where a loaded field is headed for the Bahamas, including the aforementioned Thomas.

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=01evcfxp4q8949fs1e image=]

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker brings hardware to PGA Tour Champions event

Steve Stricker brought a couple friends to Florida this week — and they’re shiny.

The Timuquana Country Club had a special guest star on Thursday.

It was less than 18 inches tall and weighed four pounds. Steve Stricker walked into the clubhouse caressing it as if were a newborn and carefully placed it on a table overlooking the club’s back lawn.

Welcome to Duval, Ryder Cup trophy. It’s the most sought-after bauble in golf, short of one signifying a major championship, and it returned to the U.S. after Stricker captained his team to 19-9 victory over Europe two weeks ago at Whistling Straits, in his home state of Wisconsin.

The Ryder Cup had a wingman during Stricker’s news conference, the Presidents Cup, the other biennial match-play event between the U.S. and an international team. Stricker became only the third man to captain winning U.S. teams in both competitions, joining Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

“Still just walking in here with it today, you know, the excitement from the people,” said Stricker, who will play the first round of the Constellation Furyk & Friends on Friday with two of his vice-captains, Davis Love III (who led the U.S. to the Ryder Cup in 2016), and Fred Couples. “Still get quite a few texts, people still reaching out. We’ve talked about it as a family, how surreal it’s been. The whole Ryder Cup seemed like a blur, it happened so fast. The results, you know, as we know what they were, and then after that we’re watching our daughter play and make it to the state tournament. It’s like back to reality and our normal living.”

[vertical-gallery id=778161837]

Except having the Ryder Cup in your house isn’t exactly normal. And it can inspire at the oddest moments, such as Wednesday, when Stricker walked into his kitchen and saw that his daughter had taken the Ryder Cup, put it on the table in front of her laptop, and proceeded to begin doing her homework.

“Stuff like that is pretty weird, but it’s pretty cool to be a part of it all,” Stricker said.

The Ryder Cup also accompanied U.S. team member Harris English to the set of ESPN’s “GameDay,” last Saturday, where he was the guest predictor.

Having the Presidents Cup side-by-side with the Ryder Cup begged a question: did leading the U.S. to victory in 2017 at Liberty National help prepare Stricker to be the Ryder Cup captain.

“That meant a lot,” he said of the U.S. 19-11 victory that week. “It was a big learning deal for me just to feel like you have control of the team. I’m not that kind of an outgoing personality to tell these guys what to do and all that kind of stuff.

“So I learned a lot, but I learned a lot also from not only the playing part, but being a part of all those assistants’ years, being under Tom Watson, Jay Haas and, you know, Davis [Love], just all those guys that I was a part of, I learned a lot.”

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=none image=]

Fred Couples says he’d like to serve as Ryder Cup captain, but he may be too late

“Would I like to be Ryder Cup captain? Of course.”

Fred Couples has been the winning captain for three U.S. Presidents Cup teams and has been a Ryder Cup vice-captain twice, including two weeks ago at Whistling Straits where the U.S. routed Europe 19-9.

So when will Couples get his chance to captain the Ryder Cup?

Perhaps never, he said on Wednesday.

“Now I’m a little old for the system,” the two-time Players champion said after warming up for the Wednesday pro-am in the PGA Tour Champions Furyk & Friends. “I mean, would I like to be Ryder Cup captain? Of course, but that’s probably not going to happen.”

The Ryder Cup is run by the PGA of America and the Presidents Cup by the PGA Tour.

Speculation is that the 61-year-old Couples might have a chance in 2023 in Rome because of his Italian ancestry. His paternal grandparents came to the U.S. from Italy and changed their name from Coppola to Couples.

[vertical-gallery id=778162894]

Couples said his main strength as a Presidents Cup captain and assistant Ryder Cup captain is sensing a player’s mood and state of his game just by having a conversation.

“I can just see in their eye something’s going on,” he said. “And it’s easy. Golf is kind of secondary for me. I was a good player and I knew my game, but I can feel out other people’s games pretty easily, I just have a knack for saying ‘what’s going on?’ and I enjoy that.”

Couples had one reason for the U.S. team’s victory this year.

“I’ve never seen people not nervous in my life,” he said of the demeanor shown by a young American team. “There was something going, I don’t quite get it. They’re all better players than probably I’ve ever been, but there was just — there wasn’t much nerves.”

Couples was in charge of a “pod” with Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay. That foursome combined to go 14-1-2.

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=none image=]

Justin Thomas auctioning off some awesome, exclusive Ryder Cup gear for charity

Have some money to spend and want to make a difference?

Justin Thomas felt the love from the fans in Wisconsin last week during Team USA’s historic Ryder Cup rout of the Europeans.

As a result, the 28-year-old is sharing a piece of his experience from the whipping at Whistling Straits. Thomas is auctioning off some of his gear from the event that will benefit his Justin Thomas Foundation, which aims to support youth golf, children in need and military families.

The gear up for auction? Signed “America” FootJoy shoes, a signed custom headcover, a signed Ryder Cup shoe bag, a Ryder Cup pin flag signed by Team USA and a personalized thank you video message for each winner.

Thomas was also in the headlines earlier this week when news broke that Phil Mickelson’s former caddie and current Golf Channel/NBC Sports analyst Jim “Bones” Mackay would be Thomas’ new caddie going forward.

Have some money to spend and want to make a difference? Get in on the auction action here.

[vertical-gallery id=778162894]

Sergio Garcia on Ryder Cup loss to United States: ‘We just got out played, it’s as simple as that’

Sergio Garcia had a strong showing at Whistling Straits, but his teammates did not.

JACKSON, Miss. — Sergio Garcia didn’t get much sleep Sunday night.

Despite a 3-1-0 showing at Whistling Straits to improve his Ryder Cup record to 25-13-7, the European’s were routed by the Americans, 19-9, a result that hasn’t quite hit home yet for the 10-time member of Team Europe.

The 41-year-old is the lone Ryder Cup player to make the trek from Wisconsin to Country Club of Jackson this week for the Sanderson Farms Championship, where he’ll look to defend his title last season for the first time in his PGA Tour career.

“I mean I feel good. I’m not going to lie, obviously didn’t get much sleep on Sunday night. But Monday and Tuesday it’s been good, I was able to rest a little bit in Austin with the family, got here last night and I feel pretty good at the moment,” said Garcia on Wednesday after a nine-hole practice round. “I mean you obviously think about it a little bit, it’s very fresh, but at the same time I’m obviously 41 now and I played, I’ve been fortunate to play many Ryder Cups and win many and also loss some so, we just got out played, it’s as simple as that, they played better than us and we gave it everything we had. So we can’t really ask ourselves for more.”

SANDERSONTee times, TV | Fantasy | Yardage book

The only players to earn more than two points, Garcia and Jon Rahm were the bright spots for Padraig Harrington’s squad. The Spanish tandem took down Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in Friday Foursomes, Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger in Saturday Foursomes and Koepka and Jordan Spieth in Saturday Four-Ball. Their lone losses of the week came in singles, with Rahm falling to U.S. rookie Scottie Scheffler and Garcia to Bryson DeChambeau.

[vertical-gallery id=778162894]

“You don’t get to world No. 1 and do all the things he’s done just by luck or by chance. So it was nice to be a part of it, it was nice to be his partner and kind of combine nicely between the two of us,” said Garcia of his successful pairing with Rahm. “So I had a great time with him, he had a great time with me, we made a good team and hopefully we’ll be able to do it again sometime soon.”

Sometime soon would either be at the PGA Tour’s team event in April, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana, or at the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club near Rome, Italy, when Garcia will be 43.

[listicle id=778053253]

Ryder Cup postmortem: How the U.S. built a juggernaut

The U.S. welcomed its Ryder Cup rookies, and they didn’t disappoint in dispatching a more experienced European squad.

[mm-video type=playlist id=01es6rjnsp3c84zkm6 player_id=01evcfxp4q8949fs1e image=]

HAVEN, Wisc. – Winning cures everything.

Team USA dominated the 43rd Ryder Cup like never before, winning 19-9. Call it the Whipping at Whistling Straits.

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, a Wisconsin native, can drink Spotted Cow free for life, or until the cows come home, after this resounding victory in America’s heartland. The only thing Stricker seemingly did wrong all week was admit to being a Chicago Bears fan during his speech at the opening ceremony.

America’s youth won out over Europe’s experience. The six U.S. Ryder Cup rookies combined to go 14-4-3.

“It seems like the younger they are, the better they play,” said U.S. assistant captain Davis Love III.

“They didn’t play like they were rookies,” said Dustin Johnson, the team’s veteran presence at age 37, who won a team-best five matches. “They stepped up to the plate and they all wanted it. And like Xander and all of us have all said all week, the one thing we all have in common is we all hate to lose. And so that’s how we came together, and we all played like it.”

Did they ever. It was the first time in 44 years that the U.S didn’t lose any of the five sessions. On Sunday the Americans obeyed the text message of Tiger Woods, who told them to “step on their necks.”

Ryder Cup 2021
Team USA player Patrick Cantlay reacts on the sixth green during Day 3 singles for the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. (Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports)

Patrick Cantlay took it to heart. “I woke up this morning and I was trying to tell the guys, ‘Let’s get to 20 points,’ because this is going to be the next era of Ryder Cup team for the U.S. side,” he said. “I want to send a message. Everyone has that killer instinct, and we are going to bring that to future Cups.”

The U.S victory was born in arguably the team’s lowest moment, when it was blown out in Scotland in 2014. Phil Mickelson publicly aired the team’s dirty laundry during its media session following the defeat and hung out U.S. captain Tom Watson to dry. But something good came from that day – a new beginning and commitment to change the culture.

“They realized they had to do something different,” Love said. “The PGA said, We’ll spend money on stats guys. We’ll spend money on NetJets to fly you guys in if you want to play practice rounds. … If we go in there and say this week we saw this and we need this for next time, we’re gonna get it. The Phil thing was the boiling-over point. It had been simmering for a while. Phil was the only one with enough nerve to say it. Now, we could have said that in the debriefing but it would not have been as impactful.”

The U.S. won in 2016, but the loss in Paris two years later meant the pressure was on America to hold serve. Otherwise it might’ve been back to the drawing board, given the Euros had won four of five meetings and nine of the last 12.

Ryder Cup 2021
Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka smile during the opening ceremony for the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Talent and depth beat potential dysfunction. The American team’s powerhouse lineup included eight of the top 10 players in the world, the FedEx Cup champion and an Olympic gold medalist. Despite concerns the ongoing beef between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka would lead to built-in social distancing, the Americans were installed as a 2-to-1 betting favorite and made it sound as if instead of beating each others’ brains out playing pingpong in their team room, they sat around holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

“Even though we are competitors, we can all be friends and have unity,” DeChambeau said.

COVID-19 travel restrictions also meant the U.S. had an unprecedented home-field advantage, turning Whistling Straits into a hostile environment that one BBC Live commentator described as a “Cauldron of hate.” Whistling Straits, with its wide fairways and lack of rough, was a perfect venue for the Team USA bashers who dominated the par 5s.

“It seems the way the Ryder Cup is going, the home team certainly has an advantage every time that we play this thing. That was apparent in Paris a couple years ago. I think it was pretty apparent this week, as well,” said Europe’s Rory McIlroy, who went 1-3-0 at Whistling Straits. “You go back to Hazeltine, same sort of thing. This is the pattern that we are on.”

Europe captain Padraig Harrington hamstrung his team by limiting his captain’s choices to three compared to Stricker’s six. He could’ve played Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood more, and he was done in by getting nothing out of McIlroy and Ian Poulter, the team’s talisman, until it was too late. But Harrington said there’s no need for a longer postmortem or to revamp the team’s qualification system.

“In general it’s been working. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said. “The core of the European team is strong and we don’t have to change it.”

Indeed, Europe has a strong foundation with World No. 1 Jon Rahm, McIlroy and rookie Viktor Hovland, who should only get better in the years to come.

“The heart of this team will be here for a few more years for sure,” Harrington said. “They haven’t got to their peaks yet, so we should see some strength going forward.”

Ryder Cup 2021
Team Europe player Viktor Hovland lines up a putt on the fourth green during Day 2 foursomes for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

But while the U.S. made a seamless transition to a younger nucleus that is built for the next decade, Europe hoped for heroics one more time from its winning core. But that tank was empty – those players went 5-9 over three days and it could’ve been worse if not for Sergio Garcia, who earned three points alongside Rahm. This was a statement win for Team USA, and not to diminish its achievement, you’re supposed to win at home. The real validation of the Americans’ new formula for success is to win on the road for the first time since 1993 when the 44th Cup is held in Rome at Marco Simone Golf Club in 2023. When asked if that’s the next step, Xander Schauffele, one of America’s impressive rookies, balked at looking ahead.

“I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but we are just going to enjoy now,” he said. “You’re thinking way too far ahead of us, for me, personally, so we’re going to enjoy this one for now and collect ourselves shortly after.”

But Jordan Spieth, a two-time loser overseas in 2014 and 2018, compared the romp to a Presidents Cup and already, to borrow a phrase from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, was on to Italy.

“I think that this is unfinished business,” he said. “I think it was a massive stepping stone for this team and the group that we have here that have really known each other since almost back to grade school to continue to try to work hard to be on these teams to go over there.

“It’s one thing to win it over here and it is a lot easier to do so, and it is harder to win over there. If we play like we did this week, the score will look the same over there in a couple years, and that’s what we’re here for.”

Them some fightin’ words. The U.S. ushered in a new generation this week; Europe was outplayed and outputted, but it has two years to find replacements for its old guard – players along the lines of Bob McIntyre, Guido Migliozzi, Thomas Pieters and Sam Horsfield will have something to say about that. Rome is officially on the clock and the next Ryder Cup can’t come soon enough.

O Captain! my Captain: Who’s next in line to lead U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams in 2023? It’s never too early to discuss.

It’s never too early to begin speculating on who will assume the top job and lead Team USA and Europe at the 44th Ryder Cup in Rome.

HAVEN, Wisc. – O, Captain! my captain!

Who’s on tap to take the baton and lead the respective 12-man sides in 2023 in Rome at Marco Simone Golf Club?

NBC’s Paul Azinger, who captained the victorious U.S. side in 2008, suggested a return engagement for America’s wining captain after a dominant 19-9 win at Whistling Straits.

 “If the PGA of America is serious about winning Ryder Cups, they might want to consider giving Steve Stricker another shot at this,” he said.

During the winning team’s press conference, Stricker was asked if he would accept the task. His team members already have signed off.

“100 percent,” said Dustin Johnson, who went 5-0 in Wisconsin.

“That’a a yes from us. To be fair, in 2017 it was a very similar position as far as the dominance goes. Strick has a pretty good record,” said Jordan Spieth, referring to Stricker’s turn as U.S. Presidents Cup captain and leading the Americans to a 19-11 victory at Liberty National.

I think Presidents Cup was a record,” Tony Finau said. (It was the most lopsided result since the biennial competition switched to 30 total points).

But Stricker was quick to shoot down the prospect of a second tour of duty. “I don’t think it’s going to happen. It’s mapped out and there’s guys in positions to be the next captains,” he said. “It was an unbelievable experience, don’t get me wrong; I’m glad it’s over.”

Later, when the topic was raised again, he added, “I told my wife at the start of the week, ‘Can you believe Davis Love did two of these things?’ ”

U.S. assistant captain Zach Johnson greets European captain Padraig Harrington on the first tee at Whistling Straits. (Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports)

The leading candidate to lead the U.S. side in 2023 is Zach Johnson, who served as an assistant captain again this year and has been groomed for the role. Phil Mickelson is considered a shoo-in for the 2025 Cup at Bethpage Black. Tiger Woods, who led the Americans to victory at the Presidents Cup in 2019, should have his pick of the litter down the road.

What of the Europeans? Englishman Lee Westwood, who tied Nick Faldo by playing in his 11th Ryder Cup, already has raised his hand for the job of replacing Padraig Harrington.

“I’m assuming I’ll get 3-4 months to think about,” Westwood said Sunday evening. “People keep coming up and saying you’re going to be the captain in Rome. I’d prefer to play. I don’t want to let go yet. But father time is not kind.”

Ian Poulter is presumed to be in line for 2025, and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell could get his home game at Adare Manor in 2027 much like Stricker getting to play host in his native Wisconsin.

“It’s a massive honor and something I want to do,” Westwood said. “Why wouldn’t you?”

Ryder Cup: How each United States, European golfer fared at Whistling Straits

The final tally at Whistling Straits was 19-9, the largest margin of victory since 1979.

The U.S. team demolished the European squad at the 43rd Ryder Cup, winning by a margin of 19-9, earning the most points since the event went to its current format.

Dustin Johnson led the way for the Americans. He arrived at Whistling Straits with a career 7-9 Ryder Cup mark but won all five of his matches this week, becoming the first American since Larry Nelson in 1979 to go 5-0-0.

Three American Ryder Cup rookies—Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele all won three times during the week. Fellow rookie Scottie Scheffler also went unbeaten, winning twice while earning a tie.

Ryder Cup: Scores | Sunday singles breakdowns

Sunday singles results


Golfer Record at Whistling Straits Record all-time
Dustin Johnson 5-0-0 12-9-0
Collin Morikawa 3-0-1 3-0-1
Patrick Cantlay 3-0-1 3-0-1
Xander Schauffele 3-1-0 3-1-0
Scottie Scheffler 2-0-1 2-0-1
Bryson DeChambeau 2-0-1 2-3-1
Justin Thomas 2-1-1 6-2-1
Daniel Berger 2-1-0 2-1-0
Brooks Koepka 2-2-0 6-5-1
Harris English 1-1-1 1-1-1
Jordan Spieth 1-2-1 8-7-1
Tony Finau 1-2-0 3-3-0


Golfer Record at Whistling Straits Record all-time
Jon Rahm 3-1-1 4-3-1
Sergio Garcia 3-1-0 25-13-8
Ian Poulter 1-2-0 15-8-2
Shane Lowry 1-2-0 1-2-0
Lee Westwood 1-2-0 21-20-6
Tyrrell Hatton 1-2-1 2-4-1
Rory McIlroy 1-3-0 12-12-4
Tommy Fleetwood 0-1-2 4-1-2
Bernd Wiesberger 0-3-0 0-3-0
Matthew Fitzpatrick 0-3-0 0-5-0
Paul Casey 0-4-0 4-7-5
Viktor Hovland 0-4-1 0-4-1

[vertical-gallery id=778162894]

Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau shake hands, hug after winning Ryder Cup

Brooks and Bryson shared a moment after the American win.

The Golf Channel cameras were ready for when the moment happened.

As members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team were gathering in celebration of defeating the Europeans, Brooks Koepka made his way through his teammates and approached Bryson DeChambeau. The two shook hands and then they hugged it out.

It was quick but it a genuine moment between the two.

Each golfer did his part to help the Americans reclaim the Cup.

DeChambeau defeated Sergio Garcia 3 and 2 in Sunday singles to go 2-0-1 during the week. Koepka took down Bernd Wiesberger 2 and 1 in singles and posted a 2-2-1 mark this week. Now, they’re members of a winning Ryder Cup team.

“(The team) had a mission this week and you could tell, they played great and they came together. I mean, Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together; that’s how much it came together,” captain Steve Stricker said. “That shows a lot about this whole team.”

[vertical-gallery id=778162894]

[lawrence-related id=778163460,778163428,778163381,778163384]