Colour Commentary: 2020 Ryder Cup ends with historic U.S. win over Team Europe

The 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup was held at the Whistling Straits golf course in Haven, Wisconsin

The 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup held in Haven, Wisconsin could be summarized in a number of ways  — exhilarating, refreshing, and entertaining.

Competitive, however, doesn’t make the cut. 

The fan-favourite tournament is a biennial golf competition between 12-man rosters from the United States and Europe. This year, the action took place on American soil at Whistling Straits golf course, where the home team was victorious 19-9. 

For those that don’t know how the tournament is scored and played, I’m with you — it’s complicated and it probably warrants another page to explain. Instead, you can read up a dedicated guide here. But for the purposes of this piece, all you need to know is the U.S. margin of victory (10) was the largest in the modern format of the Ryder Cup, which was adopted in 1979. 

Though some of golf’s most marketable and talented superstars have donned the American uniform, it’s been the European teams that have found the most success at this event in recent memory. Coming into the weekend, the U.S. had lost eight of the previous 11 iterations of the Ryder Cup.

Over time, the consensus among media and fans was that while the Americans often boast extreme skill and talent, they lack the camaraderie and teamwork to put it all together. Meanwhile, the European teams were always the staple of strength in numbers, selflessness, and longevity. 

Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, and Lee Westwood headlined the European roster as Ryder Cup veterans who proved their worth in years past. They also had the number one ranked player in the world in Jon Rahm. 

This year, the Europeans played well. However, they were just drastically outplayed by the Americans who were able to put aside their individual egos and work in unison for the weekend. The result was the most one-sided Ryder Cup in recent memory. 

It’s odd to think this U.S. roster has already been labelled as the greatest American team ever assembled, considering two of its generational stars in Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson weren’t competing (though Mickelson was involved with the team as a vice-captain).

And although no individual on the team boasts a personal brand that comes close to their predecessors, the makings of an American dynasty have already begun. 

The U.S. was young and stacked across the board — collectively, their world golf rankings were well ahead of the Europeans and even previous versions of the American team. Only four players on their roster — Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Harris English, and Tony Finau were above 30 years of age. 

Perhaps most notably, the roster came together and built a genuine chemistry and caring for one another, despite their individual talent and brands, that didn’t feel forced or fake. 

The European team will host the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, Italy. On home soil, they haven’t lost since 1993, but they will almost surely go into the event as underdogs.

But don’t count on Team Europe to go out without a fight. 

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