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. 


A disappointing silver medal for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship

Team Canada lost the gold medal game to Team USA

The World Junior Championship (WJC) is always one of hockey fans’ favourite times of the year, especially for Canadians, as we normally have a great chance of winning gold.

This year, Team Canada competed with a roster of 22 talented players, 20 of whom were selected in the first round of the National Hockey League (NHL) Draft.

Hockey analysts had high expectations for the team. In other words, many people had already given the gold medal to Team Canada before the first game of the tournament was even played.

Led by Head Coach André Tourigny, Team Canada started the competition with a crushing 16-2 win against Germany on Dec. 26. The squad dominated the round robin — where each team of the same group played each other once — winning their four games and finishing first in Group B for the start of the elimination round.

Having scored 33 goals and allowed just four in the same amount of games, Team Canada showed fans that they had nothing to fear entering their quarterfinal game against Czech Republic; and they were right thinking that way.

It almost felt weird seeing Team Canada win so easily in an elimination round game. Yes, it was the Czech Republic, but a 3-0 win meant a second shutout, and also another game where our country didn’t seem to have trouble getting past its opponent. Moreover, it was the fifth straight game where Team Canada didn’t allow an even-strength goal.

Our semifinal game against Russia was anything but a close contest. That game probably confirmed many fans’ thoughts, which was that we could win it all. I’ll admit my own confidence was boosted after beating Russia the way we did. The two countries normally offer great battles, but this time it was totally one-sided, with a 5-0 victory for Team Canada.

Another shutout for Canada and a second consecutive one entering the final game of the tournament was as perfect of a scenario as you could imagine. A great way to present yourself to your last opponent.

Unfortunately, things seemed to stop working for a team that had been almost perfect up until then. Team Canada was the only country that didn’t lose a game in the tournament. However, a great showing from Team USA, added to a normal performance by Tourigny’s team, was all our long-time rivals needed to grab gold with a solid 2-0 victory.

It’s hard to judge this WJC for Team Canada, considering they still won the silver medal, something that isn’t that bad in the end. But for a team full of NHL first-round picks that had high expectations, that second place hurts a little bit.


Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion

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