Two years ago, he was visibly angry after the loss at Gleneagles about the USA getting away from what worked under Paul Azinger in a rare 2008 victory, and what seems to work every year at the Presidents Cup against an worldwide team that is not almost as formidable as Europe.
What next for Reed and Pieters?
Henrik Stenson and the impressive Thomas Pieters, who won three points when paired with McIlroy on Friday and Saturday, both won as Europe closed to within a point. -European history in the Ryder Cup suggests otherwise.
The left-handed American, playing in his 11th Ryder Cup but looking for only a third USA victory, was inspired, putting his way to 10 birdies.
The biggest gallery-and the loudest roars, from both players and fans-was reserved for the first match of the day: McIlroy vs. the feistiest American of all, Patrick Reed.
The US team led 9 1/2 – 6 1/2 entering the singles matches and Reed edged Rory McIlroy 1-up in the opener.
Mickelson had never lost any of three Ryder Cup matches he played against McIlroy, but Lefty didn’t have much of a chance Saturday morning in foursomes.
“It’s a tough environment for us to come and play in”.
And no one is going to remember any of them because of a great photo of Rickie Fowler. Such was its success it may put the European Tour under pressure to hold their own root and branch review, not that it is entirely necessary.
Love for captain in 2018? Earlier this week he explained why, suggesting he was exhausted of taking the hit for botched decisions by former captains who failed to build good teams.
He pointed out that the Europeans had won eight of the past 10 Ryder Cups with collective decision-making, and a coherent effort at team-building and continuity, with players groomed in team competitions, and captains developed over periods of years by serving as vice captains before they assumed leadership.
“When you look back on what the difference is, when players are put in a position to succeed, more often than not they tend to succeed”, Mickelson said. Since then, the Americans have only known defeat, including a crushing collapse in 2012, Love’s first go-round as captain.
When asked about his first Ryder Cup experience, a laughing Willett – with a can of beer at his side – told the assembled reporters that it had been “s**t”.
Europe have won eight of the past 10 Ryder Cups, but face a challenging task to retain the trophy with the US having lost at home only four times since the matches began in 1927.
Love also returned to a version of former captain Paul Azinger’s “pod” system from 2008, when the 12-man team was broken down into smaller units for practice and bonding.
Yet if Mickelson’s play in 2016 – including a magnificent performance in the British Open at Royal Troon – is anything to go by, there is plenty of life in the old dog yet. Here are four highlights from the 41st Ryder Cup. Do not bet against him achieving the feat.