Five things you may not know about the 2016 Ryder Cup
Watch all three days of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on Golf Channel beginning Tuesday, April 14 at 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
Americans Pull Off Biggest Victory in Three Decades
When the Americans arrived at the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club, the team was looking to avoid their ninth loss in the last 11 matches. In 2014, the Americans were defeated handily by Paul McGinley and the European Team, 16 ½ to 11 ½. That staggering loss fueled the U.S. Team to an incredible bounce-back in 2016, when Davis Love III led his team to victory, defeating Darren Clarke and the European squad 17 – 11. It was their largest margin of victory in the Ryder Cup since 1981, when Dave Marr led the team to an 18 ½ to 9 ½ victory over the European Team led by John Jacobs.
A Sunday Showdown
Match 6 during the Sunday singles matches would prove to be one of the most exciting in Ryder Cup history. Europe’s Sergio Garcia met the U.S.’s Phil Mickelson in a rematch 12 years in the making. The last time the pair met on Sunday at the Ryder Cup, the Spaniard won 3 and 2. But in 2016, the result would be much closer.
Mickelson and Garcia put on a scoring exhibition, combining for 19 total birdies during their match, which in a better-ball format would have been a score of 58. Garcia birdied the last four holes, Mickelson birdied four of the last five and they both made birdie on the final hole to tie the match.
Sunday, Garcia was just one of two Europeans to go bogey-free and Mickelson made more birdies than anyone with 10. Mickelson, despite a single three-putt, shot 63.
In 2014, the Americans found a formidable pairing in Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who won 2 ½ points as a team. The pair reunited in 2016 and once again delivered for the U.S. Team. During Saturday afternoon’s four-ball session, the pair went 7-under par, shooting 29 on the front nine. They defeated Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson 2 and 1 after going 10-under through 17 holes. As a team, Spieth and Reed are 4-2-1 in the Ryder Cup, which matches the all-time record for most points by a team with five, set by Arnold Palmer and Gardner Dickinson.
A Connection to Arnie
On the Sunday before the matches began at Hazeltine, Arnold Palmer passed away. The U.S. Team honored the two-time Ryder Cup Captain by placing his golf bag on the first tee during Friday morning’s opening session. The Americans went on to sweep the session 4-0-0, a first since 1975, which also happened to be the last time Palmer led the Americans at the Ryder Cup. In 2016, each member of the U.S. Team won at least one match over the course of the week, which was also a first since 1975.
Captain’s Picks Deliver
U.S. Captain Davis Love III used his four Captain’s picks to select J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Ryan Moore, who was one of two rookies on the American side. Holmes, Fowler and Kuchar combined for six Ryder Cup appearances, at the time, and their veteran experience paid off. Holmes, Fowler, Kuchar and Moore went 7-6-0 for the week, setting a record for the most points earned by U.S. Captain’s picks in a single Ryder Cup.