“Phil Mickelson, Bubba (Watson), everyone who played on the team and who didn’t play on the team showed we all had a heart and could pull together”.
“Definitely, it’s a transitional team, it goes in cycles”, said McIlroy, who notched up three points in five games and was involved in an epic final-day duel with Patrick Reed before losing out on the 18th hole.
1737: Justin Rose v Rickie Fowler.
The victory completed a two-year soul search for the Americans after they were routed in Gleneagles for a third straight defeat. He and the equally emotional Reed threw decorum out the window, exchanging wild celebrations every chance they had. Reed then holed a birdie putt from 35 feet, charging the crowd before turning to wag his finger at McIlroy. Three putts from 12 feet was all he needed, and when Moore rolled the birdie attempt a foot from the hole, Lee Westwood conceded. The U.S. took five points in matches 7-12.
Mickelson is now looking to the future and the California insisted that the U.S. will keep building on a blueprint for success that they have mapped out. In a rollicking postgame press conference filled with jokes and laughter, they promised to return emboldened in 2018. Tried my best but played poorly.
The rude behavior of a small percentage that packed Hazeltine this week was a topic of conversation following the United States victory.
“I’ve got a team that, yes, they were disappointed whenever we came off the golf course, as naturally they should be, I would expect them to be that way”.
Ryan Moore secured the win on the 18th hole, even though he missed the birdie. “We’re bringing home the Ryder Cup because of it”. “There’s nothing like it”.
“He’s the reason why I got my point today”, Snedeker said. “Phil just made it from everywhere”, he said.
“But you know, that’s to be expected”.
“The two greatest things I’ve ever wanted to accomplish in golf were to be a Hall of Famer and a Ryder Cup captain”, he said.
The Americans don’t have an easy time when they play the Ryder Cup in Europe, though the tone is undeniably different. “Being a captain’s pick, it put a little pressure on me to come out and perform to justify that pick a little bit, and I was happy to make it worthwhile”. The tour took the lucrative World Series of Golf at Firestone.
What matters – what Europe has had all these years – is that players feel as much a part of the process as the people running the Ryder Cup. They formed a task force to address the shortcomings and delivered an emphatic performance at Hazeltine.
“The great thing is there was no battle between all of us”, he said.
Mickelson was also a key member of the task force, having scathingly criticised the tactics of 2014 captain Tom Watson immediately after the USA loss at Gleneagles, saying that the players had been left out of the process.
BACK TO THE TOUR: The new PGA Tour season starts next week at the Safeway Open in Napa, California, and it’s the start of a new PGA Tour policy created to get more players competing in different tournaments.