Pro Golf Weekly

U.S. Ryder Cup Blame Game: 5 Stories To Read

The U.S. Ryder Cup Cup team looked disengaged and distracted for much of the three days at Le Golf National.

After winning three of the four morning four-ball matches on Friday, Team USA lost the next nine of 12 team-session matches, and never recovered.

Today, the hangover is real. And the blame game has just begun. Here are five stories that take a deeper look into the American debacle in Paris:

1. Reed Blames Furyk and Spieth

“The curious decision to split up one of America’s best Ryder Cup teams of the past several years was blasted late Sunday by Patrick Reed, who said he was “blindsided” when he learned he would not be playing with Jordan Spieth at Le Golf National,” writes Bob Harig at ESPN.com.

Patrick Reed Ryder Cup Loss
Patrick Reed reacts during his four-ball match on day two of the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris, France. Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

“‘The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” said Reed, in the story. “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 sets up the team for success.'”


2. Ryder Cup: Handing Out the Grades, From A (Sergio) to F (Tiger)

“The pressure-packed exam is over and it’s time to administer the final grades. Pens down, please. Here are marks for all 24 players in the 2018 Ryder Cup,” writes Josh Sens at Golf.com.


3. What the Heck Just Happened?

“This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not in 2018, not ever. A task force had been assembled to make certain of that. But happen it did, and with force, its nadir an 11-match stretch where the Europeans won 10,” wrote Golf Digest’s Joel Beall.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson Ryder Cup
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson celebrate after winning the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on Sep. 30, 2018 in Paris, France. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“Raising, begging the question: Who, or what, is at fault for running golf’s Titanic into an iceberg?

“Jim Furyk was a popular response, many believing the U.S. captain had been outmaneuvered by his counterpart. Others saw it as a referendum on American course setup, the bomb-and-gouge strategy so effective on the PGA Tour rendered useless in a venue where accuracy is paramount.”

“Some rekindled the time-worn narrative that Team Europe has better chemistry and more heart.”


4. Who Blew the Ryder Cup, Jim Furyk or Tiger Woods?

“The U.S. lost its seventh-straight Ryder Cup on foreign soil, falling 17.5-10.5 in a European rout. Who’s most responsible for yet another pathetic American showing at the Ryder Cup? We rank the eight biggest offenders,” Chris Chase writes in USA Today.


5. Americans Too Ego-Driven

“There are myriad reasons the United States lost its sixth straight Ryder Cup on foreign soil, a streak of futility that started after the 1993 victory at the Belfry when Bryson DeChambeau, the youngest member of this year’s team, was 10 days old,” wrote Karen Crouse in the New York Times.

Tiger Woods Ryder Cup
Tiger Woods during singles matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on Sep. 30, 2018 in Paris, France. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“Of the captain Jim Furyk’s four wild-card picks, only Tony Finau (2-1) finished with a winning record. The others — DeChambeau, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson — lost all their matches. The narrow fairways favored players who are straight off the tee, and six of the 12 Americans were ranked in the bottom 50 in the PGA Tour stat for driving accuracy (where Henrik Stenson of Europe finished first).

“In the end, though, the United States lost despite parading out an all-star team that included nine players who have won majors, for the same reason as ever: The Americans are not a band of brothers.”

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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