Stricker hails victorious US Ryder Cup team after record win over Europe

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Steve Stricker has said unity within the United States Ryder Cup team was emphasised by Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka wanting to play together at Whistling Straits. The US inflicted a record 19-9 defeat on Europe to reclaim the trophy.

DeChambeau and Koepka’s highly public feud has been a key theme of this golfing year. There were questions over whether this mutual antipathy could derail the US. Koepka and DeChambeau were not a foursomes or fourball pairing but, Stricker revealed, not for the want of trying.

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“Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together. That’s how much it came together,” said Stricker. “That shows a lot about this whole team.

“These guys all came together. Two weeks ago they came together. Showed me a lot about this group of guys. They all showed up for the practice rounds, all the assistant captains showed up at the practice rounds.

“They had a mission this week and you could tell. They played great and they came together.”

Stricker fired a warning to Europe that the US could dominate this event for years to come. This marked just a second US success in six Ryder Cup attempts.

“From day one it was about out-preparing [Europe], getting the guys here, getting them on the same page,” Stricker added. “This is a new era for USA golf. They are young. They come with a lot of passion, a lot of energy, a lot of game. They are just so good. So it’s exciting to see these guys and exciting for us in Wisconsin to experience this.”

Pádraig Harrington, the losing captain, was gracious in defeat. “Of course we’re disappointed,” said the Irishman. “But the US played well. Look, they outplayed us. Strong team, they got their plan right. They got some momentum going. They started well. They just outplayed us at the end of the day.

“It’s tough when you’re going away and having no Europeans in the crowd but it was certainly above expectations in terms of an away crowd. Obviously there was a lot of momentum for the US with the cheering and the silence was a little off-putting at the start for us and maybe that held us back a bit.”

Ian Poulter said this may be his final Ryder Cup appearance after defeating Tony Finau in the singles. Poulter, now 45, has been an icon of the European team. “Today was to give something back,” Poulter said. “You just don’t know if you are going get the opportunity to go again.”

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