Ryder Cup: United States outplayed us, admits Europe captain Padraig Harrington

By Sports Desk September 26, 2021

Padraig Harrington acknowledged Europe were outplayed by the United States as the hosts reclaimed the Ryder Cup in record-breaking style on Sunday.

Defending champions Europe entered the final day at Whistling Straights 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 American team eventually won by a 19-9 landslide, the widest margin in the history of matches between the USA and Europe, which date back to 1979.

Previously, the US faced teams from Great Britain and, from 1973 to 1977, Great Britain and Ireland, when there were bigger wins.

Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau put the Americans within touching distance after Rory McIlroy had won the first match for Europe, and Collin Morikawa guaranteed the cup triumph by halving his match with Viktor Hovland, before the points kept coming.

Speaking to NBC, European captain Harrington said: "Of course we're disappointed. But the United States played well. Look, they outplayed us. Strong team.

"They got their plan right. They got some momentum going. They started well. They just outplayed us at the end of the day.

"It's tough when you're going away and having no Europeans [in the crowd], but certainly above expectations in terms of an away crowd.

"Obviously there was a lot of momentum for the United States with the cheering, and the silence was a little off-putting at the start for us and maybe that held us back a bit."

Sergio Garcia accepted that the United States "played great" and thoroughly deserved their victory.

While the Spaniard's week ended with a 3 and 2 defeat to DeChambeau on Sunday, he was in record-breaking form in his foursomes showdown on Saturday, becoming the player to win the most matches in Ryder Cup history.

The 41-year-old, who made his competition debut in 1999, claimed his 24th victory, moving clear of Nick Faldo's previous record.

"I'm so proud of them [his team-mates]. I love all of them so much and so proud of the way they played. We just have to accept it," Garcia said.

"The Americans, they played great, they made most of the right shots at the right time and most of the putts when they had to. It's quite simple.

"Obviously I would have loved to play a little better today. I thought the back nine was a little better; the front was a little weak, but I was trying to see if I could get anything out of the match."

Europe may have come up against a partisan crowd at Whistling Straits, but Garcia was largely happy with how they behaved.

"Don't get me wrong, when there's so many people, there's always going to be a small amount that are a little bit out of line," he said.

"But these fans, they see us every week and they love us every week, and that doesn't change. They are cheering for their team, but they are respectful to us."

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