There is no point beating around the bush when looking at the result of the most recent Ryder Cup: Europe was humiliated by the Americans and not in a pretty fashion.
Whilst many had predicted and expected that the Americans would go on and win the team golf tournament as it was played in their own backyard and they featured one of the strongest teams that they have ever been able to call upon, not many would have expected the Europeans to have been sent home in the manner that they did after being beat by a record breaking 19-9 score line.
Indeed, whilst there are just two short years until the next edition of the Ryder Cup in 2023, which will be hosted in Rome, there will be plenty that Team Europe will need to do between now and then to ensure they do not suffer another humiliation like the one that they did.
Players who underperformed and need to improve
Essentially, all of those who were selected to play for Padraig Harrington’s team were poor, with the exception of Jon Rahm (more on him later, though). However, was it the players’ faults?
It could be argued that American golf is simply a lot better than European golf at the moment. The world rankings would suggest that this could be the case. Although the vast majority of the golfers who played in the Ryder Cup compete on the PGA Tour, only Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy and Tyrrell Hatton were ranked higher than the American’s lowest-ranked player; Scottie Scheffler at 21.
McIlroy was one player who admitted that he “should have done more” after his Singles game on the Sunday as he burst into tears and found it difficult to keep ahold of his emotions when being interviewed, although the blame could not be pointed on the Northern Irishman or many others, either.
The Americans were simply better, but the course should have helped the Europeans. There is no doubt that Whistling Straits is one of the most challenging golf courses in the world with its thousands of bunkers all over the place, however the windy conditions and the links-like style should have helped them a little more than they managed.
Harrington’s team selection – in the build up to the competition and throughout – was questionable as his choices simply did not bring the desired effect, especially in the foursomes rounds as Europe looked miserable with the partnerships that were created.
Jon Rahm the only player on Team Europe to really excel
Whilst the Americans were rowdy – and perhaps over the line with some of their antics – Europe’s Rahm was one of the only bright lights of the 2021 Ryder Cup and one that the team has to build around.
The Spaniard has proven he can be one of the worlds, and currently is, best and showed just how good he can be as he managed to pick up three-and-a-half points over the first two days of competition.
Hovland is another bright spark but is still an emerging talent at 24 years of age, whilst his first Ryder Cup was always going to be a big challenge, especially in America.
If these two golfers can keep playing well over the next two years and put Whistling Straits behind them, then Europe might just be able to defend their 30-year unbeaten home record when they try and win the Ryder Cup back in 2023 at Rome.