Beyond the Bison: US Dominate Ryder Cup in Biggest Win Ever

Logan Kinajil-Moran, Contributing Writer

The United States’ victorious Ryder Cup golf team made a serious claim at being the best of all time this month, handing the European team a 19-9 thrashing to take back the Ryder Cup in Haven, Wis.

The Ryder Cup is a biennial golfing tournament, proclaimed as the preeminent event in the sport, where 24 of the best golfers from the United States and Europe compete over three days. Specifically, teams face off in three different formats – a “four-ball” (golfers face off in a 2v2), a “foursome” (a 2v2 but where the golfers alternate shots) and classic singles play. The winner is the team that takes the most of the 28 points up for grabs. The 2021 rout marked the largest margin of victory ever in the 28 point format, established in 1979, with the tournament itself dating back to 1927.

The team’s dominance was evident from the beginning. After taking a 6-2 lead after the first day, they looked effortlessly unstoppable. From coming up clutch to stealing points away from the Europeans with crucial eagles, to the point where golfers Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger drank beers on the first tee of the fourth session, the win never really seemed in much doubt.

The 12-man team set a record for youngest team in U.S. history with an average age of just under 30 – as well as breaking several other records. For instance, the team played an undefeated weekend for the first time in 44 years, with Dustin Johnson as the first golfer in the tournament to win all five points he competed for since 1979.

“The U.S. were very strong,” Irish national and European captain Pádraig Harrington said. “Whatever their plan was, they got it right this week. A strong team, played well. Kept the momentum. And they would have been tough to beat at the best of times, let alone when they are at top form. It’s a great win for them.”

For a team with a history of controversy and team division, it’s a powerful return from a disastrous 17½-10½ defeat in 2018. 

“I said it a number of times all week long: all these guys came together. They started two weeks ago when they all showed up for a practice round, [and] I could see the camaraderie then. I could see the willingness to prepare and get ready for this event prior to us even arriving. A lot of these guys have played a lot of golf with each other. Grown up with each other. It’s a special group of kids. It was fun to be part of it all. Especially here in Wisconsin,” U.S captain Steve Stricker said.

Stricker himself boasted his team as “the greatest […] of all time.” In a way, you can see his point. With four of the top five men’s golfers in the world on the team, coupled with their historic record-breaking performance, and potential to dominate for years to come, it’s not necessarily a crazy statement.

The future for American golf looks very bright, notes Striker, elaborating that “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.” American golf fans can hopefully look forward to more Ryder Cup success as the team looks to continue its dominance in 2023, when the tournament takes place in Italy. 

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