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2021 Ryder Cup: Americans Win Back Cup With Dominant Performance

Collin Morikawa sank a short birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole at Whistling Straits to go 1-up and guarantee the American team the Ryder Cup.

The USA, with its youngest team in history, clinched the 43rd Ryder Cup when 24-year-old Collin Morikawa holed a 3-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole that assured the Americans at least 14 1/2 points.

They finished with a 19-9 rout, the largest margin of victory since the modern format of the Ryder Cup was adopted. 

Dustin Johnson became the first American since Larry Nelson in 1979 to go 5-0, completing his perfect week by beating Paul Casey, 1 up.

Latest Ryder Cup scores 

USA 19, Team Europe 9

Sunday Singles Scores at the Ryder Cup

Collin Morikawa sank a short birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole at Whistling Straits to go 1-up and guarantee the American team the Ryder Cup. It became official when he missed a short putt to win the 18th hole outright. But his draw with Viktor Hovland was good enough to bring the Ryder Cup back to the American side.

The American team needed 14-1/2 points to win the cup.

Here are the scores from Sunday's matches:

Rory McIlroy defeated Xander Schauffele 3 and 2

Patrick Cantlay defeated Shane Lowry 4 and 2

Scottie Scheffler defeated Jon Rahm 4 and 3

Bryson DeChambeau defeated Sergio Garcia 3 and 2

Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland tied

Dustin Johnson defeated Paul Casey 1 up

Brooks Koepka defeated Bernd Wiesberger 2 and 1

Ian Poulter defeated Tony Finau 3 and 2

Justin Thomas defeated Tyrrell Hatton 4 and 3

Lee Westwood defeated Harris English 1 up

Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood tied

Daniel Berger defeated Matt Fitzpatrick 1 up

What Happened Saturday at the Ryder Cup

USA 11, Europe 5

The American team has built a huge lead through the first two days of the 43rd Ryder Cup. If the Europeans were to rally Sunday and win, it would be the biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history. Teams have twice come back from four points down (1999 and 2012) but never from more. All 12 American players have won at least one match.

Here are the scores from each match Saturday afternoon:

  • Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia defeated Brooks Koepka/Jordan Spieth, 2 & 1.
  • Shane Lowry/Tyrrell Hatton defeated Tony Finau/Harris English, 1 up
  • Scottie Scheffler/Bryson DeChambeau defeated Tommy Fleetwood/Viktor Hovland, 3 & 1.
  • Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa defeated Ian Poulter/Rory McIlroy 4 & 3. This match is the 1,000th in Ryder Cup history.

Bryson DeChambeau Hit a Brilliant Iron, Which Led to the Final Point of the Day

Scottie Scheffler and DeChambeau won, 3 & 1, after DeChambeau hit this frozen rope 8-iron to 6 feet and made the putt.

Shane Lowry Was FIRED Up After He Made this Putt

Ryder Cup rookie Shane Lowry celebrated like a veteran after holing the match-winning putt on the 18th to win a late point for Europe on Saturday. 

Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm's caddie had a spicy discussion about a drop

Jordan Spieth and Adam Hayes, Jon Rahm's caddie, had a more heated than usual discussion about where a drop should be taken on the fifth hole. Jim "Bones" Mackay, former caddie and current on-course reporter said it was a case of a caddie sticking up for his player. Spieth and Hayes talked later on the hole and appeared to clear the air.

Here's the video from Sky Sports, which you can see if you are outside the United States:

Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger Chugged Beers on the Tee

They had they afternoon off, so the two American Ryder Cup players decided to start the party a little early Saturday at Whistling Straits:

The Americans are dominating on Saturday

The American team is dominating at Whistling Straits. The USA won three of four points in the morning foursomes to build a commanding 9-3 lead ahead of the afternoon session. 

Here are the latest Ryder Cup scores and results from Saturday's morning sessions:

  • Sergio Garcia/Jon Rahm defeated Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger 3 & 1
  • Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa defeated Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton 2 & 1
  • Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas defeated Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger, 2 up
  • Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele defeated Lee Westwood/Matt Fitzpatrick 2 & 1.

We Have Our First Rules Controversy!

On the 15th hole, Daniel Berger drove into the right rough, just outside one of Whistling Straits' many bunkers. The ball settled near a small drainage ditch, and Koepka and Berger asked an official for relief, to ensure Koepka didn't hit the side of the small ditch right after impact. The official didn't grant it, so they called for the head referee, David Price, for the final verdict. "Sorry, Brooks," said Price. Brooks hit a great shot onto the green — he did not in fact break his wrist, as he suggested he might. A tense scene ends with much ado about nothing. 

The best part of the whole imbroglio is Sergio Garcia's reaction:

Europe Takes Its First Lead in a Session

Don't look now, but Europe is showing signs of life midway through the morning foursomes. Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm have erased a 3-down deficit and are all square on the 10th. Europe also leads two other matches, so for the first time this week there is more blue on the boards than red.

Dustin Johnson is still on fire

Historically, D.J. has struggled in the Ryder Cup, but he won two points for the U.S. on Friday. On Saturday morning he was at it again, as he chipped in on the 3rd hole to go 3 up alongside Collin Morikawa through 3 holes in the second match of the session. 

Why the Europeans need a quick start Saturday

How imperative is it for the Europeans to get off to a quick start today? And we’re not just talking points, which is critical, but holes, which is essential. The answer is very.

In Friday’s foursomes, none of the four European pairings won a hole until Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia won the third. So, effectively, the Europeans were shut out on the opening two holes. The Americans led all four matches after the second hole, and obviously went on to win three.

The USA Leads Europe 6-2 at the End of Day 1

The USA's four-point lead is the Americans' largest Day 1 edge since 1975. That team was captained by Arnold Palmer and won, 21-11. The US rookies led the way today, finishing 6-0-2.

Here are the final scores for Friday afternoon's fourball matches. 

  • Dustin Johnson/Xander Schauffele defeated Paul Casey/Bernd Weisberger 2&1.
  • Bryson DeChambeau/Scottie Scheffler halved with Jon Rahm/Tyrrell Hatton
  • Tony Finau/Harris English defeated Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry, 4&3
  • Tommy Fleetwood/Viktor Hovland halved with Justin Thomas/Patrick Cantlay

Dustin Johnson won two matches on the first day for the first time in his Ryder Cup Career. Rory McIlroy lost twice in a day — also a career first. Ryder Cup rookie Xander Schauffele also won two matches.

Here are the tee times and pairings for Saturday morning foursomes:

7:05 a.m. — Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger vs. Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm

7:21 a.m. — Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa vs. Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton

7:37 a.m. — Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas vs. Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger

7:53 a.m. — Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele vs. Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick

The United States as the favorite entering this event and are now an even bigger favorite. Here updated odds from Jeff Sherman from the SuperBook at the Westgate in Las Vegas.

Justin Thomas Made this Putt to Tie His Match Late

Bryson DeChambeau Hit a 417-Yard Drive on the 5th

The First Michael Jordan Sighting of the Week

The European veterans did not deliver in the morning session

Experience clearly did not help the Europeans in Friday morning’s foursomes as they dug themselves a 3-1 hole. 

The eight players that European Captain Padraig Harrington sent out had a combined 72-52-24 Ryder Cup record (84 points). The bulk of that belonged to fortysomething players Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, who combined for 56 of those 72 wins. 

In the afternoon, Harrington is sending out a lineup that is a combined 22-20-9. European experience will not be as much of a factor as only Paul Casey (13) and Rory McIlroy (25) have played more than 10 Ryder Cup matches. Bernd Wiesberger and Shane Lowry are making their debuts and Viktor Hovland lost his debut this morning.

If it was true that the United States Ryder Cup team needed an infusion of fresh talent, not scarred by continued losses to the Europeans, then having six rookies on the 2021 squad may be paying off.

Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Daniel Berger and Xander Schauffele were part of wins as the Americans built a 3-1 morning lead. 

This is the View from the International Space Station

It's USA 3, Europe 1 after the morning foursomes.

Should the Europeans be concerned with their 3-1 deficit? Nah, not really. The last time the Euros won an opening session outright was 2006. Of the seven matches since then, including this year, they have trailed after six first sessions. In 2012, the teams were tied 2-2. Playing from behind has not been an issue for the Europeans as they went on to win four of the six Cups since 2006.

The USA Leads 3-1 after the Friday Morning Session

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia put the first point on the board at the 43rd Ryder Cup. The United States team then won the next three matches. The Americans need 14-1/2 points to win the cup back. Europe retains with 14 or more.

Here are the results for each morning match (additional reporting by the AP)

The big moment came at the 15th. Spieth hit into 8 feet, and it looked as though the Americans could cut the deficit to one hole with three to play. But Garcia made a 25-footer and Thomas missed the birdie putt. Europe was dormie. It ended with a wild moment on the 17th when Spieth hit from the side of a slope to 6 feet and the momentum of his swing sent him racing down the hill toward Lake Michigan to keep from falling. Thomas missed the putt and they conceded the match.

  • Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa defeated Paul Casey/Viktor Hovland, 3 & 2.

Johnson made sure the Americans got off to a stable start with a great wedge from native grass that set up birdie and a nice chip to halve the second hole. Europe took its only lead with a par at No. 4 thanks to a wild drive by Johnson. The Americans tied it when Johnson made a 12-foot birdie on No. 6, took the lead when Casey missed the seventh green that led to bogey and sealed it with consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes for a 3-up lead. They closed it out when Johnson found the fairway on the par-5 16th and Morikawa hit fairway metal to 30 feet for a two-putt birdie.

  • Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger defeated Lee Westwood/Matt Fitzpatrick, 2 & 1.

There were few memorable moments in this one. The Europeans never trailed by more than two holes and the match was all square at the turn. Koepka made a 6-foot birdie at No. 10, hit wedge to 6 feet at No. 11 for Berger to make the birdie putt, and they were on their way. The teams halved the remaining six holes, with Westwood missing an 8-foot par putt on the 17th that sealed the European loss.

  • Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele defeated Rory McIlroy/Ian Poulter, 5 & 3.

The Americans never trailed in the final morning match, grabbing the lead with a birdie at the first when Cantlay drained a 5-footer to begin a five-hole win streak. They won the par-5 second with a par and the fourth hole with a par. The Europeans staged a brief comeback, beginning with birdies at Nos. 10 and 11 to cut the lead to 3 up. McIlroy hit his tee shot on the par-3 12th to 8 feet for birdie, but Schauffele hit his wedge to 2 feet for a conceded birdie. They matched birdies on the 13th, too. But Cantlay’s approach at the par-4 14th rolled to within 3 feet of the flag to set up the Americans’ sixth birdie and restore a 4-up margin. They closed it out on the next hole when the Europeans failed to make birdie and conceded a fourth straight birdie to end the match.

Lee Westwood is now Team Europe's all-time leader in this category

By playing in this morning’s foursomes match, Lee Westwood surpassed Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo for all-time European foursome matches played with 19. Also, Garcia moved into a second-place tie with Langer and Faldo with 18.

Points Americans win this morning might mean even more than normal

While foursome play has not been the United States’ forte, actually getting it out of the way on Friday morning may be advantageous. 

The last time the Ryder Cup opened with morning foursome play was 2012, when the Yanks went 2-2. In the following three Ryder Cups (2014, 2016 and 2018), the Americans were outscored 10.5-1.5 in afternoon foursomes. Regardless of the overall score at Friday’s end, the Europeans had a bit more pep in their step thanks to their foursome play.

However, during that same stretch of four Ryder Cups, the Americans outscored the Europeans 12.5-3.5 in fourball play, and their quick starts in three of those Ryder Cups were negated by Europe’s strong afternoon foursomes play.

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If the Americans can hold onto their morning leads, the afternoon could play right into their hands.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele are 🔥🔥🔥

The American rookies have won the first five holes against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter. 

PGA.com screenshot.

PGA.com screenshot.

Sergio Garcia + Jon Rahm = peanut butter and jelly

Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm at the opening ceremony.

Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm at the opening ceremony.

At 41, Sergio Garcia may be past his prime, but his game has already set Jon Rahm up for four birdie putts — albeit one being a long-range bomb — and helped the opening pairing to a 2-up lead through eight holes. Consider this about Garcia: He’s got a 22-12-7 career Ryder Cup record, including 18-8-6 with partners. Overall, Garcia has totaled 25.5 points, which is equal to the combined United States roster.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele are rolling early

The American rookies have the biggest margin (3 up) of any match right now:

Screenshot from PGA.com

Screenshot from PGA.com

All four morning matches are out on the Straits

Here's where we're at, about 80 minutes after the first tee shots this morning: 

Screenshot from PGA.com

Screenshot from PGA.com

Here's an early highlight from the Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia match:

Fun fact: Florida State's Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger are the first college teammates to be paired together at the Ryder Cup since Wake Forest’s Curtis Strange and Jay Haas in 1995.

Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa make early birdies

The 43rd Ryder Cup's first shift on the scoreboard occurred within a matter of seconds when American Collin Morikawa, playing in the morning's second match, rolled in a birdie putt to win the 1st hole. Less than a minute later up at the par-4 2nd hole, Jordan Spieth made birdie to give the United States the lead in the opening two matches. 

But, remember, it's early ... very early.  

Game on, boys

As expected, a raucous and rowdy crowd greeted Friday morning's foursomes matches in the amphitheater setting. 

European stalwart Sergio Garcia, who owns a 22-12-7 Ryder Cup record and has scored as many points as the combined United States team, hit the opening tee shot — left into a bunker. His counterpart, Justin Thomas, found the fairway. 

The Americans, though, missed an opportunity for a 1-up lead when Thomas aggressively pushed his birdie attempt. The hole was halved with pars.  

What's Happened Thursday at the 43rd Ryder Cup

Here are the matches and tee times for Friday morning foursomes

  • 7:05 a.m.: Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia vs. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas
  • 7:53 a.m.: Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter vs. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schaueffle
  • 7:37 a.m.: Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick vs. Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger
  • 7:21 a.m.: Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland vs. Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa

The opening ceremonies are happening 

Dustin Johnson at the 2021 Ryder Cup opening ceremonies.

Dustin Johnson at the 2021 Ryder Cup opening ceremonies.

You can watch the festivities live on Golf Channel. You can stream the ceremony here on Golf Channel. The pairings for tomorrow's morning foursomes will be announced soon.

Here's the first morning's pairings, just announced: 

  • 7:05 a.m.: Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia vs. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas

  • 7:53 a.m.: Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter vs. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schaueffle

  • 7:37 a.m.: Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick vs. Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger

  • 7:21 a.m.: Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland vs. Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa

While we wait for the pairings to be revealed, let's watch Henrik Stenson shadowboxing to "Eye of the Tiger":

Here are the predictions GC's Paige Mackenzie and David Duval made:

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia vs. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas

Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland vs. Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa

Tyrrell Hatton and Shane Lowry vs. Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka

Paul Casey and Matthew Fitzpatrick vs. Patrick Cantlay and Xavier Schauffele

Let's hear from Jeff Ritter and Gary Van Sickle outside Zig's

Zig's Golf Haven is literally right across the street from Whistling Straits. It's also from where SI/Morning Read's Jeff Ritter and Gary Van Sickle are firing takes this week

Butch Harmon predicts Team USA's morning pairings

We'll learn during today's opening ceremony (4 to 5 p.m. Central) who's paired up tomorrow morning. In the meantime, Butch Harmon has a take that sounds about right. One big question: Will Bryson play foursomes?

Xander Schauffele Has a New Driver this Week

Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele will play a 10.5° Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond LS Driver this week. That's a different head than the slightly less-lofted Callaway driver it replaces.

According to Callaway, the club launches higher on draws and with more spin, leading to more carry.

The Rough at Whistling Straits is Not Really that Rough

According to the AP: The rough on the course is “Fairly similar to what you’d find on your local golf course,” according to the head of maintenance, Chris Zugel.

Anyone who's walked Whistling Straits this week can confirm. The home team is allowed to prepare the course however it likes before Ryder Cup week begins.

However, that responsibility moved to the match committee on Monday. 

Here's the portion from the captains' agreement that covers that part:

Ryder Cup course conditions, taken from the captain's agreement.

The captains' agreement is an informative read, by the way. It covers everything from pace of play to the envelope rule to how many carts each team gets.

Why the 'Envelope Rule' is a little bit different this year

The so-called 'envelope rule' is one of more obscure parts of the Ryder Cup. Essentially, captains have to select one player who won't play Sunday if a player from the other side can't play because of injury. Most of the time, we have no idea who those guys are. The rule has rarely come into play since it was adopted in 1979.

It's changing this year because of COVID. The AP's Doug Ferguson has an excellent explainer here.

Brooks Koepka met the media and was asked about all the things

Here's his press conference from this morning

He's asked about his health at about 2:19 and says he "feels fine. I feel as good as I've felt in a long time." The first Bryson question comes at 9:13. 

He's asked about the Golf Digest interview at 10:30.

"I never said it was negative," Koepka says. "Ya'll spun it that way. I said it was different ... That doesn't mean it's bad."

We'll find out Friday's morning pairings this afternoon

Good morning! We're less than 24 hours away from watching the madness at the first tee when the first competitive shots are struck at 7:05 a.m. local time to begin the 43rd Ryder Cup.

We'll find who'll be hitting those shots (and the entire morning foursomes lineup) between 4 and 5 p.m. today when the captains reveal their pairings during the opening ceremonies. 

Continue reading below to see what happened yesterday. Here's a few links to help you catch up quickly too:

So do Oliver, Oscar, Lucas, William and Leo:

The Americans and Europeans cleaned up real nice for their team dinners last night:

What Happened Wednesday at the 43rd Ryder Cup:

If it Came to Social Media, the Europeans Win 22-6

Brilliant work 🤣

Here are the Odds on Bryson and Brooks Hugging it out

Oddsmakers at Sportsbettingdime.com have posted lines on the kind of on-camera celebratory interaction Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau might have this week. The early favorite is handshake:

Handshake +150
High Five +250
No Physical Contact (e.g. hat tip, head nod, cold shoulder) +400
Fist bump +900
Hug +7500

First thought as a bettor: these guys are much more likely to fist bump each other than handshake. Place your bets accordingly.

You can also bet on who Paul Azinger will first criticize for a current controversy:

Brooks Koepka (Does Not like Ryder Cup) +200
Steve Stricker (Player Selection) +300
U.S. Crowd/Fans (Bevahior) +450
Bryson Dechambeau (Long Drive Competition) +550
Patrick Reed (Complaint about not making team) +1200

Team Europe Did This on the First Tee

The European Team won over the home crowd, at least temporarily by wearing cheeseheads on the first tee:

  • Speaking of practice rounds, here are the groups on the course today:
    • Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry Jon Rahm
    • Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood
    • Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick, Bernd Wiesberger
Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger and Jordan Spieth laugh together Wednesday.

Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger and Jordan Spieth laugh together Wednesday.

    • Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas
    • Bryson DeChambeau, Harris English, Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa
    • Daniel Berger, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler

It's Going to be 💨 this Week

  • It's officially the first day of fall and it feels like it here in Wisconsin. The forecast the rest of this week looks pretty, pretty good. One thing that sticks out: the wind is going to be coming from different directions during play:
The forecast for the 43rd Ryder Cup.

The forecast for the 43rd Ryder Cup.

Xander Schauffele Used to Fall Asleep When Golf Came on TV

The AP mined a couple of nice nuggets from those interviews:

Xander Schauffele said he doesn't have a lot of Ryder Cup memories because he'd usually fall asleep when his dad would switch the TV to golf after the San Diego Chargers game was over.

Padraig Harrington says he’ll get a tattoo if Europe wins. Thomas Bjorn got a Ryder Cup tattoo on his backside after winning in France in 2018. Harrington didn't say where he would get his, which would be his first.

The Team Photos are In

The 2021 American Ryder Cup team.

The 2021 American Ryder Cup team.

The 2021 European Ryder Cup team.

The 2021 European Ryder Cup team.

So, Where is Whistling Straits, Exactly?

Ask most anyone from Wisconsin where Whistling Straits is and you'll likely get one of these answers: Sheboygan, Kohler, Mosel, Haven, the American Club, or "north of Milwaukee." None of those are wrong. 

The Straits Course — and its neighboring Irish Course — are about 67 miles north of downtown Milwaukee in the Town of Mosel, part of the unincorporated community of Haven. The American Club is about 10 miles away in Kohler. Downtown Sheboygan is about eight miles away.

We're right here:

google-map-whistling-straits

 This joint is right across the street and is home to fantastic, folded-over cherry pies: