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."

Related items

  • 'His voice carries further than anyone in golf' - McIlroy praises Woods leadership amid LIV Golf threat 'His voice carries further than anyone in golf' - McIlroy praises Woods leadership amid LIV Golf threat

    Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have praised the leadership qualities of Tiger Woods after a small group of leading players met to discuss the ongoing threat posed by LIV Golf to the long-established PGA Tour.

    Woods, a 15-time major champion, flew to Delaware on Tuesday to meet fellow professionals involved in the BMW Championship, including the likes of McIlroy, Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

    While the details of the meeting remain undisclosed, Woods was reportedly trying to rally support from his fellow PGA Tour professionals over the battle with the breakaway series.

    The 46-year-old, who is believed to have turned down an offer between $700million and $800million to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, has insisted he will play in limited events in the future as his glittering career winds down.

    Nevertheless, his presence at the discussion was hugely valued by McIlroy, who feels that all in attendance are on the same page regarding what the PGA Tour must do during the ongoing battle.

    The four-time major winner said: "I think the one thing that came out of it, which I think was the purpose, is all the top players on this tour are in agreement and alignment of where we should go going forward, and that was awesome.

    "I think it shows how much [Tiger] cares about the players that are coming through and are going to be the next generation. We're moving into a different era, and we just have to think about things a little differently.

    "Like it or not, they can't really sell Tiger Woods anymore. The tour had an easy job for 20 years. They don't have Tiger. They've got a bunch of us and we're all great players, but we're not Tiger Woods. 

    "He is the hero that we've all looked up to. His voice carries further than anyone else's in the game of golf. His role is navigating us to a place where we all think we should be."

    Reigning US PGA Championship winner Thomas added: "It was a productive meeting. I think it's just one of those things where we all want what's best for the players, and we're working to do that.

    "I think if someone like [Tiger] is passionate about it, no offence to all of us, but that's really all that matters.

    "If he's not behind something, then one, it's probably not a good idea in terms of the betterment of the game, but two, it's just not going to work. He needs to be behind something."

  • Jon Rahm jokes: I'm watching Suits to better understand PGA Tour-LIV battle Jon Rahm jokes: I'm watching Suits to better understand PGA Tour-LIV battle

    Jon Rahm joked he has been brushing up on how things work in the courtroom by watching the hit TV show Suits as golf's civil war between the PGA Tour and LIV Series wages on.

    The battle between the PGA Tour and the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Series took another twist last week when three defectors went to the courts in a bid to play in the lucrative FedExCup playoffs.

    Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford had filed a restraining order to allow them to play this week's tournament, while 11 LIV Golf stars put together an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

    However, a judge ruled ahead of the FedEx St. Jude Championship that LIV Golf players were not eligible to compete in the playoffs.

    Former world number one Rahm conceded he had only fortuitously seen the verdict but was happy with the outcome.

    "Well, I can tell you I had zero attention on it. I only found out that it was going on because I walked by a player dining and I saw about 10 really nervous people pacing all around the room," he said ahead of this weekend's BMW Championship.

    "I asked and heard what was going on. I was in the room when the judge made a decision known, but only because I was walking by and they told me it was time. So, I was like, 'I'll stay'. 

    "I think it could have made things a little bit awkward. They chose to leave the PGA Tour. They chose to go join another tour, knowing the consequences, and then try to come back and get courts and justice in the way. 

    "It wouldn't have sat extremely well with me but, at the same time, they're adults. They're free to do as they please to an extent. And that's what they chose to do if they're allowed by a judge. I'm nobody to say otherwise. Would it have been awkward? Possibly. But, I guess we'll never know."

    Rahm does not foresee this being the end of LIV players' attempts to play in PGA Tour events and offered a little insight into how he has been brushing up his knowledge on legal proceedings.

    "I am confident that the LIV side of things are still going to push strong to keep trying to change some things," he added.

    "But I also know that the lawyers and the PGA Tour side are going to keep fighting to keep things the way are going right now. 

    "It's not the last thing we're going to hear from them. But I just started watching the show Suits. So, I'm kind of learning now about how what happens in a courtroom."

    U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick also weighed in on the discussion, saying the time has come to put the focus back purely on playing golf.

    "I'll be honest, I've not been asked much about it myself personally. So, it's just been it's been fine," he said.

    "For me, it's just seeing it in the media and stuff. You just get fed up with talking about it.

    "In my personal opinion, let's just get on with it now. We just want to play golf and concentrate on what we do. That's purely my take on that."

  • Tiger Woods holding talks with fellow PGA Tour players over LIV Golf threat Tiger Woods holding talks with fellow PGA Tour players over LIV Golf threat

    Tiger Woods was expected to meet a small group of leading golfers on Tuesday amid the ongoing threat posed by LIV Golf to the long-established PGA Tour.

    Woods is not competing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but Stats Perform understands the 15-time major champion elected to come to Delaware to meet fellow professionals involved in the BMW Championship.

    The 46-year-old is reportedly trying to garner support among PGA Tour counterparts over the battle with the breakaway series for players' allegiances.

    Woods has made his feelings over the Saudi-backed LIV Golf clear, and reportedly turned down a high nine-figure fortune to join, but Open champion Cameron Smith looks to be the next big name to defect.

    "I disagree with it [the players' decision to join LIV Golf]," Woods said ahead of The Open. "I think that what they've done is they've turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position."

    PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was set to be available at the BMW Championship to talk informally to any players who have any questions to raise, as has been the case for several months.

    It is understood up to two dozen players have sought out Monahan for chats at certain events, but there have been no emergency talks.

    Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are among the high profile players who have joined LIV Golf.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.