Ryder Cup win augurs well for young US team
The US Ryder Cup rookies that helped deliver a dominant 19-9 win over Europe on Sunday not only showed that experience may be overrated, but also sent a message that the Americans are well-positioned for a sustained run of success in the team event.
Having six Ryder Cup debutants on a 12-man team - the most on an American squad since 2008 - raised questions about how they would handle the pressure-packed environment, but each came through and showed their mettle.
Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, Daniel Berger and Harris English went a combined 14-4-3 at Whistling Straits. They also played a key role in Sunday's singles session.
"This is going to be the next era of Ryder Cup teams for the US side," said Cantlay, who wrapped up his 3-0-1 week with a 4&2 win over Shane Lowry in the day's second match.
"The young guys on this team get along really well. Everyone has that killer instinct and we are going to bring that to future Cups."
Europe, a close-knit and battle-tested group, were the dominant Ryder Cup team over the last 26 years, but the tide could be changing if the past three days were any indication.
The focus in the US camp was so strong, even feuding duo Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka called a truce for a greater cause.
There were fears that the hostility would be a distraction to the US bid, but they showed that could put aside their differences, even if only for a while.
Teammate Justin Thomas called on the pair to hug it out during the final US news conference, and they did.
"I think before this is all over, we should have Brooks and Bryson hug in the middle of the room," shouted Thomas. "To prove how much of a team we are, they are going to hug.
"Before you go, hold the trophy in the middle."
DeChambeau, standing beside the gold trophy, waved at Koepka to join him and the pair came together to pat each other on the back in a brief hug and were all smiles for the cameras.
"Even Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together, that's how much it came together," said US captain Steve Stricker.
Over at the European camp, there were tears for Rory McIlroy, after he finally delivered a point for Europe by beating Xander Schauffele 3&2 in Sunday's first singles.
But, with the US 11-5 ahead overnight and needing only 3.5 points to reclaim the trophy, it was a hollow point.
The Northern Irishman, 32, said he was already looking forwards to trying to win back the trophy in Rome in 2023.
"The American team have been total class in terms of how they played. They have been dominant," he said.
"They have been really, really good and we haven't been able to put up as much of a fight as we want.
"But this will just fill the fire even more for us in two years' time in Rome." - REUTERS