Every two years, golf fans are treated to one of the sport’s great spectacles, with Team Europe and Team USA doing battle in the Ryder Cup.
For us neutrals, the choice of who to support is a straightforward one, made all the easier by those US fans who insist on their boorish chants doing the competition.
Going into Sunday, it was looking good for Europe. Despite an iffy hour or so in the middle of the day’s play, they romped home to a resounding 17,5 – 10,5 point victory, reclaiming the Ryder Cup title.
As the dust settles, it’s worth taking a look at how Europe went about humiliating one of the strongest teams ever assembled.
CNN to kick things off:
[Francesco Molinari and partner Tommy Fleetwood] earned cult status during the week, fans created songs in their honor [sic] and devised a new nickname, “Moliwood,” or “Machinari” for being like a machine.
The pair won all four of their matches together. Fleetwood lost his singles match on Sunday, but Molinari triumphed, making him the first European to win five points in a single event.
Not bad, when you consider that he also won this year’s British Open.
As far as the morning after the night before goes, this is about as good as it gets:
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) October 1, 2018
Another man who had a stormer was Ian Poulter, who always seems to deliver at the Ryder Cup. That’s led to some dubbing him ‘the Postman’, and a rather questionable fashion choice:
Ian Poulter is inside a postbox!!!!! pic.twitter.com/iT7ZLnMtyk
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 30, 2018
Apparently, the European team’s bond was first forged over WhatsApp:
The tight bond among the Europeans was fueled by a “love-in” on its WhatsApp group, according to McIlroy, while the players had extra motivation in a pledge from Bjorn that he would get a tattoo on a private area of his body should they win.
Pics or it didn’t happen.
The European team did have quite the afterparty, with this below from the Telegraph:
Team Europe’s celebrations were captured by BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, who filmed a number of Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup squad drinking from the famous gold trophy.
Grimshaw, a close friend of Tommy Fleetwood’s wife and manager, Clare, captured the night’s festivities from behind his DJ booth as Europe toasted a fourth Ryder Cup triumph in eight years.
Fleetwood, who played a pivotal role in Europe regaining the trophy, winning four out of five Ryder Cup points on offer, led the celebrations, urging his teammates to drink from the iconic trophy.
Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose followed suit by taking swigs as the players were joined by friends and family in celebrations that lasted into the early hours of Monday morning.
Pre-tattoo team captain Thomas Bjorn is a happy chap:
On the flip side, the Americans are involved in some serious infighting, the details of which are slowly emerging.
Patrick Reed is mouthing off about not being paired with Jordan Spieth, with that duo having enjoyed great success back in 2016, and now there’s talk of actual fighting.
Again from the Telegraph:
Anger among the United States team over their dismal Ryder Cup defeat boiled over in the post-match festivities when their two top-ranked players, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, had to be separated after a flare-up.
So much for this new era of Stars and Stripes camaraderie. Witnesses recounted how the pair almost came to blows after they had been invited into the Europe team room, a few hours after the resounding home success at Le Golf National.
The reason for the bust-up was not known, but it was a huge surprise as they are regarded as best friends. They played together in the Saturday afternoon foursomes, when they were beaten by Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. They work out at a Florida gym together and their similar big-hitting styles earned them the nickname of the “Bash Brothers”. How appropriate that seems now.
There goes the bromance that was the Bash Brothers.
The pettiness wasn’t done, though, because soon afterwards Johnson’s partner, Paulina Gretzky, deleted every picture of Koepka from her Instagram account:
She was said to be close by when the row erupted. One of the European players’ wives also witnessed the incident, and an insider reported that she was “clearly shocked and upset by the nastiness, which was very threatening”.
Maybe those pictures of Brooks were ruining her Instagram aesthetic?
Back to Patrick Reed and his moaning:
The man dubbed “Captain America” was saddled with a jaded Tiger Woods, and lost both fourball matches before bouncing back to form by beating Tyrrell Hatton in the singles.
He said: “I thought our captain might go back with the groups that have worked in the past. For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me [out] twice.
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me. I don’t have any issue with Jordan.
“When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me, as long as it works and it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”
Reed’s wife, Justine, also became involved in a heated argument with the Golf Channel:
“He didn’t hit many fairways on day two, but many didn’t,” she said. “He made sure he scrambled. First day, he made five birdies, and hit a ton of fairways – and sat the afternoon. I guess this is where the hate comes from.
“You must be living in La La Land! The Golf Channel are the ones that are unspeakably awful. Not even trying to hide their bias, their prejudice and their hatred.
“They are journalistically disqualified. Have been for a long time. Now others can see it clearly as well.
All of this really isn’t going to help Reed’s public image, and is just part of why he is often referred to as ‘the most hated man in golf’.
I suppose that one good thing about the American team losing the Ryder Cup is that they aren’t forced to visit the White House.
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