Europe regain Ryder Cup after dominating singles


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Bjorn’s underdogs defeat the fancied Americans to regain Ryder Cup

By Peter Moore

Europe regained the Ryder Cup on Sunday after winning seven of the 12 singles matches on the closing day.

Leading by 10-6 overnight, and needing just four and a half points from the singles matches, Europe were in a strong position to wrestle the Ryder Cup back from the Americans.

Despite a spirited fightback from the American side, who got to within a single point at 10.5-9.5 at one point, Europe rattled off six winning single matches in a row with Italian Francesco Molinari grabbing the deciding  point to claim the Ryder Cup after American Phil Mickelson conceded the hole, having his tee shot on the 16th into the water.

It all started so well for America on the opening day at Le Golf National in France after opening up a 3-1 lead after the morning Fourballs.

Europe hit back in the best way possible in the afternoon Foursomes with a 4-0 sweep to nudge ahead after the opening day 5-3. Saturday’s Fourballs saw Europe win the session 3-1. The afternoon Foursomes were shared with Europe sitting on a four-point cushion, leading 10-6.

On the final day there was all to play for with Europe holding the overnight advantage.

The opening singles match saw Rory Mcilroy up against Justin Thomas from the States. First blood went to the Americans with Thomas winning the match 1 up. Paul Casey and Brooks Koepka’s match finished all square before Webb Simpson put a Red point on the board after completing a 3 and 2 victory over Justin Rose.

Europe fans gather at the Le Golf National
Photo: Mark Szczuka/Prost Amerika

The American’s were now beginning to find their true form as Tony Finau thrashed Tommy Fleetwood 6 and 4. Europe were desperate for a win and Thorbjorn Olesen responded by comprehensively defeating Jordan Speith 5 and 4. Europe never looked back after this slight wobble with Jon Rahm beating Tiger Woods 2 and 1, Ian Poulter claiming a  victory over Dustin Johnson 2 up and Molinari defeating Mickleson to end America’s fightback.

There was still time for Henrick Stenson to beat Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia to defeat Ricky Fowler and Alex Noren to claim another point for Europe in the final singles match of the day as Europe ran out deserved winners 17 and a half 10 and a half.

Europe were certainly indebted to Italian Molinari who went through the whole event undefeated. Played 5 won 5.

Despite a poor singles performance from Fleetwood, his pairing with Molinari was key to regaining the Ryder Cup, as he picked up four points for his three days work.

One should also praise the experienced Garcia. World ranked 28 and just a wild card pick for the Ryder Cup, he picked up three wins, and is now the all time leading points scorer in Ryder Cup history with 25 and a half points. Another pick who should be praised is Henrick Stenson. The Swede delivered when it mattered by claiming three wins.

For America, it was a Ryder Cup to forget for Tiger Woods after suffering four loses. Justin Thomas certainly did his best for America, and was the pick of their side by claiming four victories in a lost cause.

See all Peter’s sport coverage on KoolAm Sport

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