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CONGRATS TO A YOUNG U.S. RYDER CUP TEAM

September 26, 2021

Tiger Woods wasn’t part of this U.S. Ryder Cup team because of a possible career-ending automobile injury last winter, but in many other ways, he was a major influence.
More than just winning back the Ryder Cup on Sunday, the youngest U.S. team in history handed Europe its worst loss and delivered a message about how serious it is about changing the tone of these matches.
All these young guns grew up idolizing Woods. He is their Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He offered them advice and inspiration, and they ran with it.

Many kudos need to be handed out to the U.S. team and its captain Steve Stricker for a lopsided 19-9 victory, breaking by a half-point the record margin since Europe became part of the Ryder Cup in 1979.
“This is a new era,” Stricker said. “These guys are young. They want it. They’re motivated. They came here determined to win. I could see it in their eyes.”
For starters, six U.S. Ryder Cup rookies scored more points than all of Europe, combining for a 14-4-3 record. The Americans didn’t lose a session for the first time in 44 years. Dustin Johnson became the first American to go 5-0 since 1979.

Give Scottie Scheffler credit for taking down the No. 1 player in the world with a 4-and-3 victory over Jon Rahm. Scheffler won the opening four holes and birdied five of the first six. He was among three rookies who were unbeaten this week.
How about Bryson DeChambeau, who smashed his tee shot on the 373-yard opening hole onto the green and then holed the 40-foot eagle putt to start out his win over Sergio Garcia.
And then there was Collin Morikawa, at 24 the youngest player on the team and already a two-time major champion. He made a 3-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole that assured the Americans at least the 14 1/2 points they needed.

Johnson, the oldest member of the team, became the first American since Larry Nelson in 1979 to win all five matches, completing his perfect week by beating Paul Casey in a match he never trailed.

The Americans had four of the top five in the world ranking. And they finally played like it. Those four players — Johnson, Morikawa, Cantlay and Xander Schauffele — combined for a 14-1-2 record.

The Americans won consecutive home games for the first time since 1983. The next step is winning on the road, which the Americans haven’t done since 1993.

The Ryder Cup goes to Marco Simone in Italy in 2023.

“If we play like we did this week,” Jordan Spieth said, “the score will look the same over there.”

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