CHASKA, MINNESOTA | Hand it to the Europeans, they are better celebrators. Yes, there was the requisite champagne spraying by the U.S. team following their Ryder Cup victory Sunday. But when Ryan Moore beat Lee Westwood for the clinching point, there was much more relief and silent hugs than there was giddy, schoolboy leaping and flag waving.
This had been a long time coming for the Americans. And by soundly defeating Europe, 17-11, the monkey that had taken up seemingly permanent residence on so many of these players’ backs was vigorously tossed away.
Make light of the task force if you will, but something happened in the past two years. This was a different U.S. team than the ones that lost the last three Ryder Cups, six of the last seven, eight of the last 10. They were resolute but relaxed. Everyone from the players to the captain to the assistant captains knew exactly what their roles were and they performed to their considerable abilities.
Europe has long known how to do this, almost to perfection. But the Americans seem to have found a playbook where in most previous Ryder Cups they had none. A design that lays the groundwork for Cups to come.
But you can’t win a Ryder Cup with a plan alone. Sooner or later you have to play golf. Patrick Reed was not only the emotional leader of the U.S. team, he was the best player. Like him or not, there’s no denying he was the force that moved the Americans to the final result.
The next Ryder Cup is two years away in Paris. May the time pass quickly.