World number one Jon Rahm endured a dreadful opening day at the Andalucia Masters he carded a seven-over-par 78, but Rafa Cabrera Bello looked sharp again after winning the Open de Espana.

Rahm failed to get a single birdie during what was his worst ever round on the European Tour, and his worst in any competition since the 2018 Open Championship.

But the home crowd's mood was at least soothed by the form of Cabrera Bello, who was fresh from success in Madrid last weekend, coming through a play-off with Adri Arnaus to seal a first European Tour title since 2017.

While Arnaus had something of a nightmare on Thursday as he carded a six-over 77, Cabrera Bello more or less picked up where he left off as he went around in 68, leaving him one behind leader Julien Guerrier.

The Frenchman – who started on the 10th – will be frustrated not to have taken a healthier lead into Friday, however, with two bogeys on his front nine meaning he had to work doubly hard for his one-shot advantage.

Guerrier's countryman Romain Langasque was the only other individual to do better than one-under for the round, highlighting the brutality of the Real Club Valderrama when conditions are windy.

The 26-year-old was helped by an eagle on the par-five fourth hole, though he followed that with successive bogeys.

Six others find themselves tied for fourth on one under par, but much of the attention will be on Rahm's response.

After starting on the 10th, he reached the turn at six-over. While he only dropped one more shot on his back nine, the U.S. Open champion will need to produce something special if he is to avoid the cut.

Rafa Cabrera Bello saw off fellow Spaniard Adri Arnaus in a play-off to claim a dramatic victory at the Open de Espana in Madrid.

The world number 231 captured the fourth European Tour event of his career – and first since triumphing at the 2017 Scottish Open.

Cabrera Bello's victory saw him follow in the footsteps of Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez in winning his national open, with the Canarian now having won it as a professional and at each age level from seven through to 18.

The 37-year-old went into the final round in the Spanish capital with a two-shot lead, but surrendered his advantage following a tricky opening nine.

However, a run of three successive birdies from the 13th restored a share of the lead with Arnaus, before saving par on the 18th to finish on 19-under for the tournament.

Meanwhile, Arnaus carded 67 and forced the play-off as he looked to avoid a fourth runner-up finish on the European Tour.

After returning to the 18th, each of them hit tee shots left of the fairway, but a tremendous approach from Cabrera Bello set up an 11-foot birdie that ended his title drought.

"I'm very, very happy," he said. "I knew it was going to be a really hard battle today and I don't think I need to say that I didn't get off to the ideal start.

"I've been believing in myself; I've had amazing support all this week rooting for me ever since the first minute and I was just hanging in there. I knew I'd have an opportunity and I'm glad that luck swung my way.

"I came here in probably the worst shape I have been in over the last decade, and to walk out here with a win, it's very special."

Jon Rahm hopes to "transcend golf and become an idol", echoing the achievements of tennis star and compatriot Rafael Nadal.

Rahm, who lives in America, has been amazed by his level of fame back home in Spain, where he is preparing for the Iberian swing of the European Tour.

This week he will seek to claim a third consecutive Open de Espana title in Madrid, with the world number one having risen to a level where he is instantly recognisable on the streets of the capital.

"It is difficult to be an idol when I do not live here," said the U.S. Open champion. "I see it when I spend a certain amount of time here, when you reach a certain level and even more so today with social media, because you reach more people and you realise the impact that you have.

"It only took 30 seconds for someone to recognise me when I left the hotel. If you were to tell me that this will happen to me in Bilbao, my hometown, I could understand it.

"I imagine that Madrid is full of sportsmen, but to be recognised so quickly is something I was not aware of.

"My parents and my friends tell me, but until I see it for my myself I do not realise it too much. Hopefully, I will transcend golf and become an idol."

Asked about an esteemed selection of his fellow countrymen – namely Nadal, former NBA stalwart Pau Gasol, and two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso – and the level of fame they have achieved, Rahm chose the 20-time grand slam winner as the one he would most like to emulate.

"You have named three sportsmen that have been my idols, three that I have seen competing, especially Rafa, who I already said is an idol and a model for me to learn from," said Rahm.

"I don't know if I will reach the level in golf that he reached in tennis because nowadays it's very competitive, but if I can be an idol for any Spanish kid, that would be welcome."

The Race to Dubai will conclude with a double-header for the second year in a row.

After finalising changes to the end of its 2021 schedule, the European Tour has confirmed the Dubai Championship will return on November 11-14.

One week later, only the 50 leading players will be able to take part in the lucrative season-ending DP World Tour Championship which determines the Race to Dubai winner.

Both events will take place at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai – one on the Fire course and the other on the Earth course.

The schedule change comes after the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player in South Africa was cancelled for a second straight year, with its return expected in 2022.

Lee Westwood won the race to Dubai in 2020, though it was Matthew Fitzpatrick who won the final event of the year.

This year Collin Morikawa, winner of The Open Championship, leads the Race to Dubai standings with Billy Horschel, Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton in pursuit.

"Last year's tournament on the Fire course, created to complete our 2020 schedule, was a great success," said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

"We are delighted to bring the AVIV Dubai Championship to our schedule as the final piece in our jigsaw this season.

"It means we will have two strong 'Swings' to end our 2021 campaign – the Iberian Swing in Spain and Portugal and now this Dubai double-header at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

"We look forward to a terrific fortnight as we conclude another Race to Dubai on the Fire and Earth courses."

Danny Willett revealed in a "magical" triumph after clinching the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on his 34th birthday.

Willett went into his final round at St Andrews with a three-shot lead and stayed ahead of the field to claim his eighth European Tour victory by two strokes with a closing four-under 68.

The Englishman made the turn on the Old Course three under and holed his fifth birdie at the 10th, going level par the rest of the way to finish 18 under par.

Willett was briefly caught by Richard Bland, who made five birdies on the front nine to hit the turn in 31, but a one-over back nine meant Bland finished three shots behind.

Joakim Lagergren and Tyrrell Hatton finished in a tie for second at 16 under, with Shane Lowry a shot further back alongside Bland.

However, the day belonged to Willett, who sealed his first win since the 2019 BMW PGA Championship, having endured a bout with COVID-19, suffered with appendicitis and had a hernia removed in an extremely challenging 2021.

"It's magical," said Willett, who will move back into the Official World Golf Ranking top 100 with this win. "On British soil with everyone here, it's been a great week.

"To win here, to be British and to be able to win on British soil, to win at the home of golf, this is a very special one. Especially after how the last kind of year and a half has been for everyone involved. Especially for us, we've struggled a little bit with things.

"This one, for everyone watching, this seems quite out of the blue but the practice I've been doing at home and the inner belief we have every time we get in and out of position to do something was proven again.

"Doesn't matter where it is, who it's against, it's just a question of if the game is in shape. When it is, we're all right."

Danny Willett gave himself a golden opportunity to celebrate his birthday by winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after taking three-shot lead on Saturday.

The 2016 Masters champion could toast turning 34 on Sunday by claiming his first title since his BMW PGA Championship triumph in September 2019.

Willett's impressive six-under bogey-free third round of 66 on the Old Course at St. Andrew's moved him to 14 under, three shots clear of Tyrrell Hatton, Richard Bland, Shane Lowry and John Murphy.

Englishman Willett overcame difficult weather conditions to move into a strong position.

"Early on, with a decent bit of wind, downwind, you always feel like you should take so many chances," said Willett.

"You need to drive it close, and as soon as you get on the 12th tee, you know you've got pretty tough conditions coming straight into the wind on the last six holes. I really had a go on the last six and gained a lot of shots coming in doing that.

"It's nice that the fans are back this week, the format is back, we missed it last year. I think it's great to have everyone here. We're getting cheered on, so it's great to be back on British soil. Another 18 holes to go, and we'll see how we do."

Three bogeys in a row on the back nine for Hatton after a promising start of four birdies from his opening five holes saw the 29-year-old drop into joint-second at 11 under as he signed for a one-under 72.

"Got off to a very nice start, and then just hit a couple of loose shots, just lost all momentum, to be honest," Hatton said. "I think from the eighth hole, just never really got anything going our way.

"I think there were only a couple of times where I had a realistic birdie chance, and I hit a good putt, and it bobbled off line or whatever."

Bland carded a sublime eight-under 64, while Irish duo Lowry and Murphy are firmly in the mix after going round in 67.

Tyrrell Hatton emerged from day two of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as the outright leader, but there are still multiple contenders to claim glory this weekend.

Englishman Hatton ended day one in a four-way tie for the lead, but even though he could not repeat his stunning first-round score of 64, settling for a two-under round 70 on Friday was still enough to claim the advantage.

World number 19 Hatton is 10 under for the tournament, one shot clear of compatriot Daniel Gavins after playing the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Li Haotong, one of Hatton's co-leaders overnight, and Danny Willett are tied for third on eight under at the European Tour event, with Tommy Fleetwood and Denmark's Jeff Winther one shot further back at seven under.

Former Open champion Shane Lowry produced the best round of the day, with his eventful 67 featuring an eagle, six birdies and three bogeys. He is sitting at six under, four off the lead.

However, the two other overnight leaders, Nicolas Colsaerts and Adri Arnaus, struggled to remain in contention, in contrast to Hatton and Li.

Colsaerts is now five shots off the lead, while Arnaus trails by six after a miserable 76 which featured five bogeys and a double bogey.

Hatton, part of the European team that suffered a record-breaking 19-9 defeat by USA on American soil in the Ryder Cup last week, is looking to triumph in the tournament for a third time.

He previously lifted the title in 2016 and 2017.

Alejandro Del Rey made history as he carded a sensational record-breaking 14-under par round of 58 at the Swiss Challenge on Friday.

The Spaniard was in danger of missing the cut before signing for the lowest score to par on a major golf tour.

Del Rey made three eagles and eight birdies at Golf Saint Apollinaire, surging up the leaderboard to put himself in contention for the title a day after he went round in 74.

The 23-year-old joins Jim Furyk, Stephan Jager, Ryo Ishikawa and Kim Seong-hyeon as the only golfers to have carded a 58 on major tours, with that quartet having achieved the feat with 12-under rounds on par-70 courses.

Del Rey said: "I really enjoyed it, it (the course) suits my game pretty well. I think the key for me is trying to stay patient out there, I am going to have a lot of putts for birdie, I let myself go a little bit yesterday and missed a lot of them.

"I just did pretty well today when I dropped the first couple and I stayed pretty patient when I missed a couple again, then I just went back at it.

"It was just great golf all round and for a round like that you need a couple of good bounces, which I got today. I definitely managed to drop some putts out there, but I think the key was that my driving was just great today. I hit every fairway super deep and every hole I managed to hit wedges in and managed to hit some chips, it was just a great all-round golf performance."

After his stunning score, Del Rey accepts that he will have to start afresh in round three, albeit he has catapulted himself into contention.

"I should take a nap because I need it, but I don’t know if I am going to be able to take a nap right now because I'm pretty pumped," he added.

"Tomorrow is a whole new day, and that's golf, I shot a 74 yesterday which is kind of crazy, so it's just another round. I'm just going to go out there and shoot as low as possible."

Tyrrell Hatton produced a magnificent back nine to sit in a share of the lead following the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Hatton is looking to triumph in the tournament for a third time, having lifted the title in 2016 and 2017.

The Englishman was part of the European team that suffered a record-breaking 19-9 defeat by USA on American soil in the Ryder Cup last weekend.

However, he quickly overcame that disappointment with a hugely impressive back nine score of 29 at Carnoustie – aided by five birdies and an eagle – to move joint-top of the leaderboard on eight under.

"Obviously, we needed a big back nine and very happy that the putter worked well and hopefully that continues," Hatton said after his score of 64.

"It's always nice to start pretty good around this golf course. You go to the other ones and feel like you've got slightly more of a chance than here, so we'll see what the week brings."

Three-time European Tour winner Nicolas Colsaerts has also started well in his quest for a first triumph in two years.

The Belgian recovered from bogeying the second hole on the Old Course at St Andrews with five birdies and two eagles, also carding 64.

"Once you start to play well at the home of golf, it's a pretty nice feeling when you hit the shots," he said.

"Making two eagles on the two par fives and a birdie on 18, you basically tick every box on the Old Course, which is nice."

Meanwhile, China's Li Haotong and Spaniard Adri Arnaus carded bogey-free opening rounds to join Hatton and Colsaerts on eight under par.

Local favourite Ewen Ferguson is one of three players who are a shot behind the early leaders, along with Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey and Frenchman Romain Langasque.

Defending champion Victor Perez, who triumphed in 2019 before last year's tournament was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, had a steady start, carding an opening 71.

Shane Lowry has criticised the "drunken idiots" among the Whistling Straits crowd at the Ryder Cup and said his wife was abused.

Europe went down 19-9 to the United States on Sunday – a record margin in the Ryder Cup between the two teams – with Lowry collecting a point in a memorable four-ball win with Tyrrell Hatton on Saturday.

The Irishman explained that the majority of the Wisconsin crowd were welcoming and courteous as Steve Stricker's side marched towards regaining the trophy.

However, the 2019 Open champion was left unimpressed by a "small percentage" of fans across the first two days, especially in the afternoon sessions where he suggested alcohol had taken its toll.

"I didn't think it was that bad until I asked my wife what it was like for her, and they got abuse coming around as well," Lowry told reporters ahead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

"So it's not very nice is it? And it's not very nice for them to have to listen to this. But that was a small percentage of the crowd.

"I finished my match on 16 on Sunday and I was walking back down to follow the other groups and I got a huge ovation off the crowd and in the grandstand on 16, that was pretty cool. And I thought I got on well with the crowd last week as best I could.

"But they are obviously a home crowd and they are going to be a partisan crowd. Some of the stuff is not very nice, but that's just the way it is.

"Some people are idiots, especially when they drink. Nobody turns into a genius drinking, and that's what they were doing last week. Especially if you were out in the afternoon matches, it was loud."

Lowry was a captain's pick by Padraig Harrington, and his performance in the four-balls sparked faint hope of a 'Miracle at Medinah' inspired comeback.

However, Patrick Cantlay dispatched Lowry 4 and 2 in the singles matches to leave Harrington's men staring at a thrashing.

Despite the loss, Lowry hailed the memorable debut outing, while expressing his frustrations that he and his team-mates could not perform for captain Harrington.

"I thought about it quite a bit on the way home on Monday, and I'm just so disappointed for Paddy to be honest," he continued.

"But as regards the week itself, I couldn't have envisaged what it would be like for me. It was amazing. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and it's the only thing I want to do for the next two years.

"I don't care what I do for the next two years now as long as I'm back in Rome to try to take the trophy back off them."

Steve Stricker has ruled out captaining the United States for a second time after the record 19-9 Ryder Cup victory over Europe at Whistling Straits.

The USA dominated Europe, winning by the biggest margin in the competition's history to regain the trophy on Sunday.

It was a dream three days for Stricker in his home state of Wisconsin as his side showed why they were such strong favourites.

The USA will travel to the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome for the 2023 event, but Stricker says they will have a different captain.

Asked about retaining the role, he said: "I don't think it's going to happen. It's mapped out and there's guys in positions to be the next captains.

"It was an unbelievable experience, don't get me wrong; I'm glad it's over."

Stricker paid tribute to his "special" team after such a phenomenal performance.

He said: "It was a special week all the way around. I don't know what else to say, and I've said it a number of times all week long and how these guys came together, and how they started two weeks ago when they showed up for the practice round.

"I could see the camaraderie then. I could see the willingness to prepare and get ready for this event prior to us even arriving. So a lot of these guys have played a lot of golf with each other. They have up with each other. It's a special group of guys."

He added: "It was just putting them out there in a position. The assistant captains and I talked a bunch with Tiger [Woods] on there, as well. And they're just so talented. Their average world ranking is 8.9. That's unheard of. Out of 12 guys.

"So it was really just getting out of their way; what I feel like. Let them go. Provide an atmosphere and camaraderie that they enjoyed and wanted to be a part of. And they all want to win, and it showed and they prepared for it.

"It was a great bunch of guys, and I really had a great time and they deserve it."

Europe captain Padraig Harrington was upbeat despite his team's record Ryder Cup loss to the United States, insisting the visitors could walk away from Whistling Straits with their heads held high.

Harrington's Team Europe were no match for hosts USA, dethroned following a record-breaking 19-9 defeat in Wisconsin on Sunday.

USA claimed the Ryder Cup by a record margin, surpassing the previous 18.5 - 9.5 victory at Walton Heath Golf Club in 1981.

Europe were outclassed from the outset and Steve Stricker's USA sealed victory in just the fifth match of the scheduled 12 singles showdowns on the final day.

Team Europe had won seven of the past nine editions of the biennial event but failed to recover from a six-shot disadvantage heading into the final day as USA reigned supreme and despite the heavy defeat, Harrington could not fault his players.

"I was not aware of it until it became close," Harrington said of USA's record-winning margin. "And then I did actually have to ask. I was involved in the last two that were records [grimacing] but on the right side of it.

"Look, somebody has to. That's the way it goes. This was a very strong US Team. Everybody here gave 100 per cent, and pulled together, everybody worked together this week. There's nobody walking away from this week, and I will talk to each player individually: Nobody didn't give their heart and soul to this team.

"We don't owe anybody anything in that sense. They all tried. They all put it in. And you know, there will be more Ryder Cups ahead. Most of them – as I just said before, most of them have the best part of their career ahead of them, there's no doubt about that. So they shouldn't walk away from this in any shape or form feeling like, hey, they gave it 100 per cent. That's all you can ask from the players.

"Did they do their job? Yes, they did. It didn't go right, but that happens in sport. Just remember, you know, if you want to have these glorious moments, you've got to put your head out there, and sometimes it doesn't go right. You get your head knocked off.

"That's just the reality of sport. If you put yourself out there, you'll have some miserable days, but also, if you put yourself out there, you'll have those thrilling days when you win."

 

Steve Stricker lauded Team USA's "special group" after the United States captain oversaw a record-breaking 19-9 win over Europe.

USA claimed the Ryder Cup by a record margin on Sunday, surpassing the previous 18.5 to 9.5 victory at Walton Heath Golf Club in 1981.

Stricker's USA were dominant from the outset in Wisconsin, where the hosts sealed victory in just the fifth match of the scheduled 12 singles, having required just 3.5 points for glory.

After hoisting the cup aloft in front of a passionate crowd at Whistling Straits, Stricker hailed his team.

"It was a special week all the way around," Stricker told reporters. "I don't know what else to say, and I've said it a number of times all week long and how these guys came together, and how they started two weeks ago when they showed up for the practice round.

"I could see the camaraderie then. I could see the willingness to prepare and get ready for this event prior to us even arriving. So a lot of these guys have played a lot of golf with each other. They have up with each other.

"It's a special group of guys. It was fun to be part of it all this week, especially here in Wisconsin."

Europe had won seven of the past nine editions of the biennial team event but failed to recover from a six-shot disadvantage heading into the final day as USA reigned supreme.

Stricker added: "This didn't start just two weeks ago. This started months ago. For me, three years ago two, and a half years ago. It's been on my mind ever since I was announced to be captain two and a half years ago.

"I wanted to make a special week for these guys. I've been part of a few teams, and I know how it can go. I've been on a losing team and I've been on a winning side, team, and we just want these guys to enjoy the experience. And as you can tell up here right now, it looks like they have enjoyed the experience."

Dustin Johnson led a star-studded United States with a 5-0 record throughout the Ryder Cup and Stricker continued: "I could see it in these guys' eyes last night when we left here, the course, after just saying a couple words, I could tell they felt like there was unfinished business, and they came out and they were ready today.

"They played great, and I could see it in their eye that they wanted it all. They wanted more."

An emotional Rory McIlroy claimed he should have done more to help his European team as they were crushed by the United States in the Ryder Cup.

Defending champions Europe entered the final day at Whistling Straights 11-5 down and required the biggest comeback in the history of the competition to get their hands on the trophy.

That rarely looked like happening, though, with the USA guaranteeing they would win back the trophy when Collin Morikawa secured a half point against Viktor Hovland, enough to give the host nation an unassailable lead, reaching 14.5 points with the promise of plenty more points to come.

McIlroy, competing at his sixth Ryder Cup, failed to pick up a point during the first two days of action, but he did seal a 3 and 2 victory over Xander Schauffele on the final day.

Fighting back tears, the Northern Irishman said he was not happy with his display and had let down his team-mates.

"I love being a part of this team," he told Sky Sports. "I love my team-mates so much, and I should have done more for them this week.

"I'm glad I put a point on the board for Europe today. I just can't wait to get another shot at this. It is by far the best experience in golf and I hope little boys and girls watching this today aspire to play in this event or the Solheim Cup because there's nothing better than being part of a team.

"No matter what happens after this I'm proud of every single one of the players that played this week, proud of the captain and the vice captains. I wish I could have done a little more for the team.

"It's been a tough week."

Speaking to NBC, the 31-year-old added that the Ryder Cup is comfortably the best event he has ever played in.

"The more I play in this event I realise it's the best event in golf, bar none," he said.

"I've never really cried or got emotional over what I've done as an individual, I couldn't give a s***, but this team and what it feels like to be part of a team is phenomenal."

The United States claimed the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits as they defeated Europe by a record margin with a 19-9 triumph on Sunday.

Padraig Harrington's side had won seven of the past nine editions of the biennial event but failed to recover from a six-shot disadvantage heading into the final day.

USA required just 3.5 points to claim the trophy on home soil, and they managed to reach that mark in just the fifth match of the finale as Collin Morikawa finished all square with Victor Hovland.

Europe had early hope through Rory McIlroy, who cruised past Xander Schaffuele to collect his first win at this year's edition but Patrick Cantlay quickly restored USA's dominance by defeating Shane Lowry.

Fellow rookie Scottie Scheffler enjoyed a magnificent singles debut, overcoming world number one Jon Rahm, before Bryson DeChambeau crushed Sergio Garcia with two holes to spare.

Morikawa and Hovland were neck-and-neck until the penultimate hole, where the former landed his iron shot within tap-in range to secure at least a half point and the trophy for the USA. Hovland won the last to halve their battle, but the Americans had the overall match in the bag.

Paul Casey chased Dustin Johnson but could not stop the two-time major champion from winning on the final hole to complete a 5-0-0 record, while Brooks Koepka eased past debutant Bernd Wiesberger despite a spirited performance from the Austrian.

Justin Thomas produced a dominant performance to demolish Tyrrell Hatton, while Lee Westwood - making his record 47th match appearance for Europe - picked up a consolation point against Harris English.

Ian Poulter also maintained his unbeaten record in singles matches to collect Europe's second win on the day, but that proved in vain, with Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood sharing the spoils as they both faltered on the 18th.

However, in the final pair, Daniel Berger edged past Matthew Fitzpatrick, who found the water at the last, as the USA defeated Europe by a record margin, surpassing the previous 18.5 to 9.5 win at Walton Heath Golf Club in 1981.

 

Shot of the day

Team USA were looking for a positive start to quash any suggestions of another repeat of the 'Miracle at Medinah' and DeChambeau provided exactly that in the fourth match of the day.

He comfortably reached the green with his drive on the par-four first, much to the delight of the Wisconsin crowd surrounding the tee box.

The world number seven could have claimed the 'shot of the day' tag with his drive, however, the subsequent 41-foot putt that followed to secure an eagle was both magnificent and important to place early pressure on the evergreen Garcia.

Player of the day

Scheffler, who was a Ryder Cup rookie and has yet to win on the PGA Tour, was sent out early and tasked with tackling world number one Rahm.

The American's rapid start, recording five birdies in the opening six holes, was enough to see off Rahm, who could not fight back from that point onwards and was finished off with three holes to go.

Sunday's singles win made it 2.5 points from a possible three, Scheffler unbeaten in the four-balls in a memorable debut in the Ryder Cup.

Chipping in

USA's winning captain Steve Stricker: "Speechless. Everything about it, these guys all came together. Two weeks ago they came together. Showed me a lot about this group of guys. They had a mission this week and you could tell, they played great and they came together. I just can't tell you - I mean, Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together; that's how much it came together. That shows a lot about this whole team."

Europe captain Padraig Harrington: "Of course we're disappointed. But the USA played well. Look, they out-played us, they are a strong team. They got their plan right. They got some momentum going. They started well. It's been good, no doubt about it. The fans were better - it's tough when you're going away and having no Europeans, but certainly above expectations in terms of an away crowd."

Rory McIlroy (on NBC): "I don't think there's any greater privilege to be a part of one of these teams, European or American. It's an absolute privilege. I've gotten to do this six times. They have always been the greatest experiences of my career. But this team, and what it feels like to be a part of, to see Sergio [Garcia] break records, to see Jon Rahm come into his own this week, to see one of my best friends, Shane Lowry, make his Ryder Cup debut. The more I play in this event I realise it's the best event in golf, bar none."

A little birdie told me...

Johnson entered this year's tournament with a 7-9 record in four previous appearances.

However, he made Ryder Cup history as he went 5-0-0, becoming just the fifth player to do so in a single Ryder Cup and the third since battles between Europe and the USA began in 1979. Previous matches saw teams from Great Britain, and Great Britain and Ireland, take on the Americans.

Johnson knew victory against Casey would see him etch his name in history, and he duly confirmed victory on the final hole, with the Englishman dragging his potential levelling putt wide.

Sunday's single results

Rory McIlroy (Eur) beat Xander Schauffele (USA) 3 and 2

Patrick Cantlay (USA) beat Shane Lowry (Eur) 4 and 2

Scottie Scheffler (USA) beat Jon Rahm (Eur) 4 and 3

Bryson DeChambeau (USA) beat Sergio Garcia (Eur) 3 and 2

Collin Morikawa (USA) tied Victor Hovland (Eur) A/S

Dustin Johnson (USA) beat Paul Casey (Eur) 1UP

Brooks Koepka (USA) beat Bernd Wiesberger (Eur) 2 and 1

Ian Poulter (Eur) beat Tony Finau (USA) 3 and 2

Justin Thomas (USA) beat Tyrrell Hatton (Eur) 4 and 3

Lee Westwood (Eur) beat Harris English (USA) 1UP

Jordan Spieth (USA) tied Tommy Fleetwood (Eur) A/S

Daniel Berger (USA) beat Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eur) 1UP

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