43rd Ryder Cup: Player-by-Player Recap
KOHLER, Wis. – The U.S. Ryder Cup Team rolled to an emphatic and historic victory at Whistling Straits, recapturing the Cup by a 19-9 margin. The Americans never lost any of the five sessions, and Sunday’s success in Singles ensured the largest margin of victory since Continental Europe began playing in 1979.
As expected, there were plenty of red points on the final tally while several Europeans came up empty for the week. Here’s a look at how each player fared for the week, beginning with the victorious Americans:
Dustin Johnson (5-0-0 overall, 2-0-0 Foursomes, 2-0-0 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: The first American to put up five points since Larry Nelson in 1979. Johnson was simply brilliant all week, winning team points alongside Morikawa (3x) and Schauffele before taking out Casey in Singles. After a poor showing in Paris three years ago, DJ was the MVP for the Americans this week.
Collin Morikawa (3-0-1 overall, 2-0-0 Foursomes, 1-0-0 Four-Balls, 0-0-1 in Singles)
Takeaway: What a debut for the two-time major champ. Morikawa officially clinched the winning point, earning a tie with Viktor Hovland in Singles, and he teamed admirably with Johnson during team matches. A rookie in name only, he performed as you might expect from a player with his pedigree (and trophy collection) at age 24.
Patrick Cantlay (3-0-1 overall, 2-0-0 Foursomes, 0-0-1 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Fresh off a $15 million payday, Cantlay played like a star all week. His early-week pairing with Schauffele was a formidable one, and he flashed unexpected emotion time and again during a Singles win over Shane Lowry. Cantlay has always been somewhat reserved on the course but he flashed plenty of emotion this week in his undefeated Ryder Cup debut, signaling his role as an American stalwart for years to come.
Xander Schauffele (3-1-0 overall, 2-0-0 Foursomes, 1-0-0 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Schauffele couldn’t keep pace with McIlroy in Sunday’s opening match, but that didn’t do much to damper what was a stellar debut. Schauffele successfully paired with both Cantlay (2x) and Johnson en route to a perfect record across the first two days, further acquitting himself as a key factor of the American core moving forward.
Bryson DeChambeau (2-0-1 overall, 0-0-0 Foursomes, 1-0-1 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 in Singles)
Takeaway: DeChambeau embraced the home crowd environment, topping out Sunday when he drove the first green en route to a Singles win over Sergio Garcia. His 417-yard drive on the fifth hole during Four-Balls was perhaps the shot of the tournament, and after a disappointing showing in Paris he went undefeated at Whistling Straits while becoming a crowd favorite across the three days.
Scottie Scheffler 2-0-1 overall (0-0-0 Foursomes, 1-0-1 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Scheffler slayed the beast Sunday, winning the first four holes against Rahm en route to a decisive Singles win. It capped an impressive week for the Ryder Cup rookie, who became the first captain’s pick without a PGA Tour win since Rickie Fowler in 2010 but left no doubts about his deserved inclusion on this U.S. Team.
Justin Thomas (2-1-1 overall, 1-1-0 Foursomes, 0-0-1 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Thomas remains one of the emotional leaders for this U.S. Team, and he once again rekindled a familiar pairing alongside Spieth across the first two days. Sunday’s emphatic Singles win against Tyrrell Hatton put some icing on the cake, as Thomas finally got to feel what it’s like to win a Ryder Cup in his second appearance.
Daniel Berger (2-1-0 overall, 1-1-0 Foursomes, 0-0-0 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Berger closed out the final match of the 43rd Ryder Cup, edging Matt Fitzpatrick to ensure the Americans left Whistling Straits with a record-setting margin of victory. He has now been a part of two American teams, one Ryder and one Presidents, and both won in romps. His partnership with Koepka, his former FSU teammate, yielded dividends.
Brooks Koepka (2-2-0 overall, 1-1-0 Foursomes, 0-1-0 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Koepka had some injury concerns entering the week, but he played like a man at 100 percent in every match. A Sunday Singles point over Bernd Wiesberger, capped with a near-ace on No. 17, capped a week in which he played with both Berger and Spieth while putting two total points on the board.
Jordan Spieth (1-2-1 overall, 1-1-0 Foursomes, 0-1-0 Four-Balls, 0-0-1 Singles)
Takeaway: Spieth is still looking for his first win in Singles, having tied his Sunday match with Tommy Fleetwood after teaming with Thomas for a Foursomes point earlier in the week. One of the emotional leaders on the U.S. Team, Spieth made the most of an appearance that might not have been in the works had the matches been held one year ago.
Tony Finau (1-2-0 overall, 0-0-0 Foursomes, 1-1-0 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Finau didn’t match his personal point total from Paris, but he would much prefer this celebration. A Singles loss to Ian Poulter Sunday didn’t mar the fact that he had an enjoyable week, including pouring in several putts alongside English en route to a Four-Ball point and hyping up the crowd at multiple times this week.
Harris English (1-2-0 overall, 0-0-0 Foursomes, 1-1-0 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: English made his Ryder Cup debut at age 32 a memorable one, teaming with Finau in Four-Balls before losing a close Singles match to Lee Westwood Sunday. But he still contributed a point to the American total and enjoyed a raucous celebration in his debut appearance.
Jon Rahm 3-1-1 overall (2-0-0 Foursomes, 1-0-1 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Rahm ran out of gas Sunday against Scheffler, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that he performed brilliantly as the European catalyst over the first two days. The Spaniard played like the No. 1 player in the world, offering Europe its lone glimmer of hope across the first four sessions. It wasn’t enough, and ultimately a Singles win wouldn’t have turned the tide. But this was a great individual performance amidst a blowout team loss.
Sergio Garcia (3-1-0 overall, 2-0-0 Foursomes, 1-0-0 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Garcia was a revelation this week, partnering with Rahm as a rare bright spot for the Europeans while becoming the all-time leader in Ryder Cup matches won. He couldn’t keep pace Sunday with DeChambeau, but this performance further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest Ryder Cup players of all time.
Tyrrell Hatton (1-2-1 overall, 0-1-0 Foursomes, 1-0-1 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Hatton offered several emotional sparks for the European Team, and ultimately he was one of just three players to earn more than a point. He was no match Sunday for Justin Thomas, while his highlight of the week came from a closing birdie and gutty tie in Friday’s Four-Balls to keep the Europeans within reach.
Shane Lowry (1-2-0 overall, 0-0-0 Foursomes, 1-1-0 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Lowry proclaimed that he had the “week of his life” at Whistling Straits despite the lopsided score against the Europeans. His 10-footer on the 18th hole Saturday to secure a point in Four-Balls was one of the indelible images of the weekend, and he’ll be a factor on European Teams to come despite a Sunday loss to Patrick Cantlay.
Ian Poulter (1-2-0 overall, 0-1-0 Foursomes, 0-1-0 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Poulter was brought in as an emotional firebrand, but his game simply didn’t live up to the memories of Medinah at 2012. He twice paired with McIlroy and the two men lost both matches without reaching the 16th tee. He continues to deliver in Singles, this time defeating Tony Finau to improve his Singles record to 6-0-1, but he was one of only three European match wins on Sunday.
Lee Westwood (1-2-0 overall, 0-2-0 Foursomes, 0-0-0 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: It was largely a week to forget for the oldest player on either side. Westwood is now the all-time leader in Ryder Cup matches played, but that longevity didn’t translate into any points through the first two days as the 48-year-old struggled in Foursome matches alongside Fitzpatrick. Westwood got the best of English in Singles in what might have been the final match of his Ryder Cup career that now spans 11 appearances.
Rory McIlroy (1-3-0 overall, 0-1-0 Foursomes, 0-2-0 Four-Balls, 1-0-0 Singles)
Takeaway: McIlroy finally put a point on the board Sunday, dispatching of Schauffele, but by then it was too little, too late. The emotional leader of the European Team simply didn’t have his best stuff this week, sitting a session for the first time in his Ryder Cup career when he watched the Saturday Foursome matches. For Europe to pull off the road upset they needed their best players to deliver, and McIlroy was perhaps their biggest disappointment – a notion he clearly understood given the tear-filled interviews he conducted after closing out his final match.
Viktor Hovland (0-3-2 overall, 0-2-0 Foursomes, 0-1-1 Four-Balls, 0-0-1 Singles)
Takeaway: One of only two Europeans to play in all five sessions, Hovland is clearly viewed as a key cog on future European Ryder Cup Teams. The Norwegian managed a pair of ties, including during Singles against Collin Morikawa in a result that put the Americans over the 14.5-point threshold. He paired twice with Fleetwood and once each with Casey and Wiesberger.
Tommy Fleetwood (0-1-2 overall, 0-0-0 Foursomes, 0-1-1 Four-Balls, 0-0-1 Singles)
Takeaway: Fleetwood didn’t have the same magic as he did in Paris three years ago, when he went 4-0 in Team matches alongside Francesco Molinari. He didn’t win a match in three attempts, sitting out both Foursomes sessions before scratching out a tie with Spieth in the finale.
Matt Fitzpatrick (0-3-0 overall, 0-2-0 Foursomes, 0-0-0 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Fitzpatrick has now made two Ryder Cup appearances (including 2016) and has yet to secure a point. The Englishman couldn’t find his footing in Foursomes play alongside Westwood, then lost the final Singles match of the week against Berger when his approach to the 18th found the penalty area.
Bernd Wiesberger (0-3-0 overall, 0-1-0 Foursomes, 0-1-0 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: The Austrian was the last player to automatically qualify for the European Team, and while he put forth a strong effort in parts of his matches it wasn’t enough to earn a point. He ended his week and debut appearance with a 2-and-1 loss to Koepka.
Paul Casey (0-4-0 overall, 0-2-0 Foursomes, 0-1-0 Four-Balls, 0-1-0 Singles)
Takeaway: Casey caught a bad break by getting drawn against Johnson at every turn, losing three team matches to DJ before unsuccessfully facing him in Singles. Casey authored one of the highlights of the week, holing an approach for eagle on No. 14 during a Foursomes match, but it wasn’t enough to put any blue on the board.