Changing of the Guard? USA Cruises to Ryder Cup Victory

Colin Healy ‘25
Staff Writer

Image Courtesy of Jeff Roberson/AP Photo

In a historic rout, Team USA knocked off Team Europe 19-9 to win back the Ryder Cup this past weekend. Captain Steve Stricker guided the Red, White, and Blue to a victory in his home state at beautiful Whistling Straits on the shores of Lake Michigan. Delayed a year because of the pandemic, the rowdy Wisconsin crowd was out in full force for the home team, making the Europeans uncomfortable from the start. The impressive performance could be a sign of American dominance for years to come.

Before we dive into the action, I want to highlight Worcester’s unique connection to this hallowed competition. The first Ryder Cup was hosted by Worcester Country Club in 1927, a few miles up the road from College of the Holy Cross. The event has exploded in popularity since then, bringing together the world’s best from both sides of the Atlantic for an epic September duel every other year. The city we call home will always possess an important link to one of golf’s grandest stages.

94 years later, the 43rd installment of the beloved biannual matches played out. The Americans jumped out to an early lead Friday, never looking back. A loaded team on paper, the young and energetic Americans seemed no match for a flat European team. Veteran Dustin Johnson went 5-0-0, playing and winning in every possible session, while rookies Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay were rock solid in their debuts. By the end of the Saturday afternoon fourball matches, the Americans were out in front 11-5. It was a comfortable enough lead for Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger to chug beers in front of the Team USA faithful.

Stricker’s young core held their own against Captain Padraig Harrington’s veteran European squad. Opting for experience, Harrington ended up on the receiving end of the widest margin of victory in the modern era of the Cup. Stalwarts like England’s Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were largely neutralized, the only exception being their respective victories in Sunday singles. Both of the aging stars were emotional in the post round press conference of what very well could be their last appearances. 

The blowout has left many, including myself, wondering if a new era has dawned for America in the Ryder Cup. Europe has long relied on veterans and experience, but time has caught up with the squad from across the pond. The likes of a prime Rory McIlroy, emerging star Viktor Hovland, and World #1 Jon Rahm will be around for many years to come, but the lack of a stable lineup will have Europe scrambling to match the Americans when the Cup moves to Rome in 2023.

Until then, we’ll all have to deal with the post-Ryder Cup hangover and blues. Like an emotional McIlroy said in his post-round interview on Sunday with NBC, this is the best event in golf for players and fans alike. Evidently, enough to make grown men cry. I can’t wait for the next one. See you in 2023, Rory.

Categories: Sports

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1 reply »

  1. An eye-opening and well-written article.

    Who would have imagined the Ryder Cup started in Worcester?


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