SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — The final day of the Ryder Cup could also be known as the fastest day in golf. Here’s what you missed on Sunday at Le Golf National.
Who won: Europe. Francesco Molinari clinched the crucial point on the 16th hole to give Europe the 14.5 points it needed to reclaim the Cup it lost in 2014. The final was 17.5 to 10.5
Why it matters: For one, it’s the Ryder Cup! No million-dollar purses for the winning teams here. They play for bragging rights and more pride than you could ever imagine. It’s the sixth straight European win on home soil and ninth victory in last 12 meetings overall.
Sunday heroes: In addition to Molinari, there was Jon Rahm, Thorbjorn Olesen, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau. Rahm took down Tiger Woods 2 and 1, and his win was the one that made the Europeans’ path to victory clear. Olesen, a rookie who sat all day Saturday, dominated the Golden Child to win 5 and 4. Thomas took down Rory McIlroy on the 18th hole and, as the anchor match, he needed a point more than anyone — for momentum and the scoreboard. Finau, a Ryder Cup rookie (1-1 this week), took down one of the Europeans’ two strongest players in Tommy Fleetwood (6 and 4), who was undefeated this week. Fleetwood didn’t have his best, but credit Finau for picking up a huge point.
Sunday zeros: Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. He’s been one of the Americans’ best players this week — and teamed with Thomas for a huge point Friday afternoon — but his team needed him on Sunday and he got destroyed (5 and 4) by Olesen. Spieth, amazingly, is now 0-6 in singles player in team competitions. McIlroy needed to set the tone for his team, but he was shaky off the tee, made just one birdie and then, on the do-or-die 18th, missed the fairway again and was dealt a terrible lie in the bunker and eventual concession. As for Woods? You can’t be Tiger Woods and go winless at a Ryder Cup.
Best celebration: Rahm won with a birdie on the 17th, and the emotion poured out of the fiery Spaniard.
Best week: Molinari, and it’s not even close. He went 5-0!
Best rally: Dustin Johnson led Ryder Cup robot Ian Poulter 1 up after 11, but Poulter won three straight holes — 13, 14 and 15 — to reclaim control and finished off the World No. 1 on the 18th to win 2 up. Poulter is now 5-0-1 in Ryder Cup singles.
Worst shot(s): Rickie Fowler ran into a series of water troubles, his final one splashing in front of the green on the 16th.
Now what?! Now we wait. The 43rd Ryder Cup begins on Sept. 25, 2020, at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.