London, Sept. 27 (BUS): Emotional Rory McIlroy turned to tears as the United States reclaimed the Ryder Cup with an absolutely dominant performance at Whistling Straits.
Padraig Harrington’s European side, who trailed 11-5 before their 12 singles matches on Sunday, needed a bigger comeback than 2012’s ‘miracle in town’ to retain the title, as the hosts require just three and a half points.
But although McIlroy found some form of late to defeat Xander Shaveli in the opener, previously undefeated Jon Ram lost to Scotty Scheffler and defeated Patrick Cantlay Shane Lowry to lead the home team to the brink of victory.
Bryson Dechambeau, who broke the first hole after leading the green, finished Sergio Garcia’s unbeaten record with a 3-2 win to make it 14-6 and fell to Colin Morikawa to effectively secure victory with eight games still on the track.
The Open Champion Bird on Day 17 secured him a half-point against Victor Hovland and the celebrations could begin at home.
McIlroy was put off the bench for the first time in his Ryder Cup career after two defeats on opening day and lost again on Saturday afternoon, but he faced the first holeshot against Olympic champion Shaveli and was never a header.
When asked to describe the challenge of playing in front of the party crowd, McIlroy struggled to make himself up before saying: “I love being part of this team and hope to do more for them this week.
“I’m glad I put a point on the board for them but I can’t wait to get another chance at this.”
McIlroy, who described the famous Ryder Cup as a “show” before debuting at Celtic Manor in 2010, added: “I’ve never cried about what I’ve done as an individual… It’s been a tough week but the more and more I’m playing in the event, I realize it’s The best event in golf is none. No matter what happens after this, I’m proud of every player who played this week, I’m proud of our captain and their deputies.”
Ram was in great shape for the first two days, sharing three wins and also cutting his match in half alongside Terrell Hutton, but he faced an inspiring Scheffler who flew the first four holes and never eased.
Lowry led briefly against FedEx Cup winner Cantlay but never recovered from losing 4th, 5th and 6th and eventually lost 4 and 2.
Cantlay was one of six emerging players on the American team and warned Europe that the new generation of American stars would present stiff opposition for years to come.
“It’s definitely different,” Cantlay said. “I got up this morning and I was trying to tell the guys, ‘Let’s get 20 points because that’s going to be the next era for the Ryder Cup team for the American side.
“We have a lot of youngsters and I think they will be in teams for a long time and I wanted to send a message.
“I think the guys on this team are really cooperating really well. Everyone gets along. The atmosphere is light but I know everyone has a killer instinct and we’re going to bring that to future cups.”