US end los­ing streak

Newly fash­ioned, team-cen­tric Amer­i­cans thump Europe to to lift Ry­der Cup

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

AMORE team-ori­ented US Ry­der Cup squad took care of busi­ness yes­ter­day, com­plet­ing a 17-11 thump­ing of Europe to snap a los­ing streak and val­i­date changes in their ap­proach to golf’s top team com­pe­ti­tion.

More in­put from play­ers, more con­ti­nu­ity among the team lead­ers and an ad­di­tional late cap­tain’s pick were among changes made to the US sys­tem.

“We haven’t had a good run lately and I’m thrilled for them that they got the win,” said US cap­tain Davis Love III.

“Proud of the way they com­peted all week. I’m proud of their at­ti­tude. But mostly proud of the way they came to­gether as a fam­ily.”

Ryan Moore, added as the 12th player the day be­fore the team was to ar­rive in Min­nesota fol­low­ing his gritty run­ner-up show­ing at the Tour Cham­pi­onship, was the man who ended the long US wait for Ry­der Cup re­demp­tion.

Team mates, fam­i­lies and friends poured out onto the green to cel­e­brate.

The Amer­i­cans had last won the bi­en­nial match play event in 2008 as Europe ran off three Cup vic­to­ries in a row, ex­tend­ing their dom­i­na­tion to eight of the pre­vi­ous 10 meet­ings.

“We are all gut­ted and dis­ap­pointed,” team cap­tain Clarke said after yes­ter­day’s sin­gles matches.

“The Amer­i­can guys played bet­ter than we did.

“In past Ry­der Cups I have been part of, the Euro­pean guys putted a lit­tle bit bet­ter. It is those lit­tle things that make the dif­fer­ence.

“They holed the putts when they had to and we lipped out. But that’s what hap­pened the other way around for quite some time.”

Brandt Snedeker, who reg­is­tered a 3-0 record, set Moore up for the win­ning point by claim­ing a 3 and 1 vic­tory over English rookie Andy Sul­li­van.

On a bril­liantly sunny day, the US side cap­i­talised on their greater depth to close out vic­tory as they faced four of Europe’s six rook­ies in the late matches, win­ning all of them.

The US vic­tory charge came after some ti­tanic early matches in which Europe, who front­loaded their best play­ers at the top of the or­der, closed the gap to one point after en­ter­ing the de­cid­ing 12 sin­gles matches trail­ing by three.

Sen­sa­tional shot-mak­ing and scor­ing made for great theatre in front of some 50,000 roar­ing fans.

Pa­trick Reed and North­ern Ir­ish­man Rory McIl­roy, the hottest play­ers and most demon­stra­tive com­peti­tors on their re­spec­tive teams, staged an out­ra­geous con­test of canyou-top-this in their open­ing nine.

Reed’s 1-up win gave him a US-lead­ing 3.5 points from his five matches.

Later in the day, Cup vet­er­ans Phil Mick­el­son and Ser­gio Gar­cia waged an epic bat­tle, with 19 birdies be­tween them.

After a rous­ing fin­ish in which the Spa­niard closed with four birdies in a row and Mick­el­son birdied four of the last five holes, they ap­pro­pri­ately ended up all square.

Hen­rik Sten­son and rook­ies Thomas Pi­eters and Rafa Cabr­era-Bello closed the gap for Europe, nar­row­ing the US lead to 10 1/2 to 9 1/2, but the Amer­i­cans held a big edge in the later matches.

Swe­den’s Sten­son beat Jordan Spi­eth, Pi­eters of Bel­gium topped JB Holmes and Spain’s Cabr­era-Bello de­feated PGA Cham­pi­onship win­ner Jimmy Walker – all by 3 and 2.

The 24-year-old Pi­eters set a Euro­pean rookie record by reg­is­ter­ing four points and be­came the first Ry­der debu­tant since 1999 to play in all five ses­sions.

Reed and McIl­roy set the tone for a bril­liant day of golf, with the eighth hole pro­duc­ing an out­stand­ing Ry­der Cup mo­ment.

McIl­roy rolled in a long birdie bomb and roared in de­light, play­ing to the sud­denly si­lenced crowd by putting his hand to his ear and shout­ing,

“I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you,” in ex­trav­a­gant fash­ion.

Reed then matched McIl­roy by pour­ing in his 20-foot birdie putt to an ex­plo­sive cel­e­bra­tion by the crowd, and wagged his fin­ger at McIl­roy and waved his arms to whoop up even louder cheers.

As he walked off the green, Reed was met by a smil­ing McIl­roy, who bumped fists with his ri­val in a clas­sic Ry­der Cup tableau. – Reuters/AFP

JB Holmes of the United States plays a shot on the 16th hole dur­ing sin­gles matches of the 2016 Ry­der Cup at Hazel­tine Na­tional Golf Club yes­ter­day. –

Cap­tain Davis Love III of the United States cel­e­brates with vice-cap­tains Jim Furyk, Bubba Wat­son, Tiger Woods and Tom Lehman dur­ing sin­gles matches of the 2016 Ry­der Cup at Hazel­tine Na­tional Golf Club in Chaska, Min­nesota yes­ter­day. – AFPPIX

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