Publish date:

Ryder Cup 2021: Dishing Out Grades for Every Player's Performance at Whistling Straits

The grades are in, and no surprise that the U.S. has several "A" students after a historic rout.

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- The U.S. looked great on paper entering in the week, but did anyone see a 19-9 runaway coming? Still hard to fathom that the 43rd Ryder Cup turned out to be the largest margin of victory in the event’s modern era. The lopsided finish has turned the grades into essentially a pass-fail exercise, but nonetheless, here they are.

U.S. Ryder Cup Team Grades

Xander Schauffele (3-1): Formed lethal combo with Cantlay that tore out Euro’s hearts in opening-session decimation of McIlroy-Poulter. Lost to Rory in singles, but no matter. GRADE: A

Dustin Johnson (5-0): Tee-box power paired perfectly with Collin Morikawa’s approach-shot precision. Dispatched a surprisingly game Paul Casey in singles. Man of the Match. GRADE: A+

Patrick Cantlay (3-0-1): Winning $15 mil FedEx seemed to barely raise his heart rate, but morphed into an emotional world-beater on Ryder stage. Monster week.  GRADE: A

Collin Morikawa (3-0-1): Partnering with D.J. a smooth way to ease into rookie event, but delivered plenty of highlights in his own right. Halved with Hovland in day's best singles session. GRADE: A

Scottie Scheffler (2-0-1): Captain Stricker’s final pick to fill delivered in spades. Bonus points for starting singles with four straight birdies and hanging on to dethrone the seemingly unbreakable Rahm. GRADE A

Bryson DeChambeau (2-0-1): Perfect combo of power and performance art. Drove the 1st green Sunday and made eagle to set tone vs. Sergio. Completely different player since going 0-3 in Ryder Cup debut in Paris. Looks made for this. GRADE: A

Brooks Koepka (2-2): Snippy exchange with rules officials caught on camera was a bad look, but detached demeanor actually offsets some of the team’s fiery personalities. Got the job done. GRADE: B+

Tony Finau (1-2): Best player on the course Friday afternoon while carrying English to full point. Couldn’t crack Poulter in singles but played his heart out. GRADE: B

Justin Thomas (2-1-1): Didn’t fully click with best bud Spieth, but brought fire and emotion to every match. Will be a pain in Euro rears for years to come. GRADE B+

Jordan Spieth (1-2-1): Wasn’t his best, but also ran into Rahm twice. Halved with lifeless Fleetwood in singles. GRADE: C

Harris English (1-1-1): Had a fun Friday afternoon with Finau but couldn’t quite recapture magic on Saturday. Lost to Westwood in singles long after outcome was decided. GRADE: C

Daniel Berger (2-1): Won a big point in opening session with Koepka, his most important contribution of the week. Topped Fitzpatrick in final singles match on 18. Big Ryder future. GRADE: A-

Team Europe Ryder Cup Grades

Rory McIlroy (1-3): Still hard to fathom that he and Poulter kicked off the Cup by going 5 down in first five holes. After a two-day train wreck, showed heart by going out first and winning singles match. Gave an A+ emotional post-round interview Sunday that will likely be his enduring image from the week. He’ll be back. GRADE: F

Jon Rahm (3-1-1): Entered as the No. 1-ranked player in the world and somehow elevated his game even farther as team crumbled around him. Out of gas on Sunday but gave everything he had. GRADE: A

Shane Lowry (1-2): No one had more fun this week on either side. Buried a decisive putt to win a point on Saturday, but run over by Cantlay in singles. Hope to see him again in Rome. GRADE: C+

Sergio Garcia (3-1): Won three points with Rahm and did his fair share to earn them. Dumped by DeChambeau in singles, but was feisty when the event was still somewhat competitive. Became Europe’s all-time match-winner. GRADE: A-

Viktor Hovland (0-3-2): Impact on scoreboard doesn’t reflect his play. Halve in singles match against Morikawa was epic. Best is yet to come. GRADE: C

Paul Casey (0-4): Made a bunch of birdies on Sunday but still couldn’t take out D.J. Never really brought it in the team events. Will burn the tape from this one. GRADE: F

Bernd Wiesberger (0-3): Played well in stretches but, like many of his teammates, too often misfired during closing holes. GRADE: F

Ian Poulter (1-2): Run over twice alongside McIlroy, but didn't have much help. Clipped Finau in singles and can hang hat on fact that he’s never lost a Ryder Cup singles match in his career. GRADE: C+

Tyrrell Hatton (1-2-1): Holed a big putt on 18 for half-point with Rahm when match was still competitive and squeaked out a win with Lowry Saturday afternoon. Trucked by JT in singles. GRADE: C+

Lee Westwood (1-2): Age 48 and played like it until singles, where he won two of his last three holes to steal the match in what was almost certainly final act of a brilliant Cup career. GRADE: D

Tommy Fleetwood (0-1-2): Remember when Fleetwood looked like a world-beater primed for major-championship glory? “Moliwood” from 2018 in Paris feels so long ago. GRADE: D

Matthew Fitzpatrick (0-3): Given that he was the shortest hitter at a course set up for power players to thrive, expectations were low. Had a few nice moments, but not in the closing holes. GRADE F

More Ryder Cup Coverage on Morning Read

- Parting Shots from a Ryder Cup Where U.S. was Always Two Steps Ahead
- 5 Mistakes Europe Made That Left Them Shorthanded
- Dishing Out Grades for Every Player's Performance
- Video: What Made This U.S. Team So Good?
- American Red Wave Washed Over Europe
- Rory Swears in Emotional Interview, Apologizes
- DJ is First American to go 5-0 Since 1979
- US Wins Back Cup in Dominant Fashion
- Readers Sound Off on Brooks Koepka's Cursing