Going So Low

Faltering singles play has led to the U.S. Ryder Cup drought
October 06, 2014

THE U.S.'S EIGHTH loss in the last 10 Ryder Cups has led to finger-pointing and recriminations as well as the usual grumbling about team chemistry, captain's picks and which team wants it more. But it all obscures a simple truth. The boys in red, white and blue rarely dominate the singles any more, which for years was their ticket to champagne gulps from the trophy. The chart shows that starting in 1979—the first year the Great Britain and Ireland team expanded to include all of Europe—through '93, the U.S. outscored the Euros in singles seven out of eight times, going 5-2-1 over the span. From '95 through 2014, the Americans have only outdueled the Euros in singles four times, including its two wins. If the U.S. players want to win the Ryder Cup, they should stop whining about togetherness and take care of business head-to-head.

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PHOTOROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (WATSON)
PHOTOROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES (MANNING) CHART

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)