Triumphant Europe skipper Thomas Bjorn hails Ryder Cup winners as 'best team room he's been in'

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Captain Thomas Bjorn hailed the victorious European team as the best he had been involved with after they reclaimed the Ryder Cup in Paris.

Bjorn’s team wrapped up a 17.5-10.5 victory over the United States by scoring seven-and-a-half points in Sunday’s singles session at Le Golf National.

It was Bjorn’s eighth taste of the Ryder Cup, having previously played in the competition three times and served as a vice-captain on four occasions.

The Dane said: “This is the best team room I’ve ever been in. It was calm, it was determined, it was focused, it was fun.

“Everything that this Ryder Cup was is what I think the Ryder Cup should be about for a European team.

“How do you sum that up? I felt all along that this was a good group of guys. The way they looked after each other and have been there for each other throughout the whole week made captaincy pretty easy.

“The hardest thing about the captaincy was that there were so many guys playing well, and being in such good frame of mind, that I wanted to get everybody on the golf course, but you can’t.”

Europe came into the final day holding a 10-6 lead and their ultimate margin of victory looked convincing, but the United States did make them battle hard.
They claimed three points early on to move within one and, at that stage, what proved a pivotal match between Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods was in the balance.

Bjorn said: “There was a little moment in the middle of it all where I was getting a little bit worried, but then everybody stood up and did their bit.

“I can’t describe how I feel about these 12. They have been amazing from day one and I’m just so proud of them.”

All 12 members of Bjorn’s team contributed at least a point over the three days.

Bjorn said: “That doesn’t happen very often. The whole team has been part of this.

“We worked as a team and we knew we were up against very strong opponents, but we went out on the golf course and believed in ourselves and what we stand for as a team.”

Bjorn attracted some criticism over his wildcard selections in the build-up to the tournament after opting for experience over form in, most notably, the case of Sergio Garcia. Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson were his other picks.

Bjorn said: “I’m not very good at adding up, but I’m sure if I put these numbers together, they make the difference in the score. I think I got it right and they have been fantastic.”

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Justin Thomas shines for America in our Ryder Cup player ratings

David Cooper 30/09/2018
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Heartbroken United States golf stars will go back to the drawing board in search of their first Ryder Cup win in Europe since 1993 after a resounding 17.5-10.5 defeat Sunday.

The American squad, featuring 11 of the world’s 17 top-ranked players, dropped seven of the last eight singles matches at Le Golf National in their worst loss since 2006.

Here, we rate the 12 players from the losing team.

Bryson DeChambeau
P: 3 W: 0 L: 3 H: 0. Pts: 0

The rookie was supposed to be the steadying influence on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson but had crushing foursomes defeats with both. Had a half-point cruelly snatched from his grasp after a brilliant approach at the last by Noren’s long putt. 4

Tony Finau
P: 3 W: 2 L:1 H: 1. Pts: 2
A better rookie performance from the big-hitter, he saved his best till last with a 6&4 win over a clearly drained Fleetwood. 6

Rickie Fowler
P: 4 W: 1: L: 3 H: 0. Pts: 1
Flattered to deceive again. Failed to generate any chemistry or good form with partner Johnson over the first two days and was always behind against Garcia in singles. 4

Dustin Johnson
P: 5 W: 1: L: 4: H: 0. Pts: 1
Hugely unimpressive for the world number one, who made numerous visits to Le Golf National’s water hazards and could barely hole a putt until the last round when it was too late. 2

Phil Mickelson
P: 2 W: 0 L: 2 H: 0. Pts: 0
Came into the event in poor form and it was never likely to improve under such testing circumstances. Was hopelessly wayward and, after bizarrely being picked in Friday’s foursomes, was benched Saturday and was no match for a rampant Molinari in singles, losing four holes to bogey. 2

Patrick Reed
P: 3 W: 1 L: 2 H: 0. Pts: 1
USA’s self-styled Captain America failed to live up to his billing, looking horribly out of sorts. Appeared more interested in playing up to his pantomime villain caricature right up until the last with his solitary win over Hatton after the cup had already been lost. 3

Webb Simpson
P: 3 W: 2 L: 1 H: 0. Pts: 2
America’s steady man, he pulled off a good victory over Rose in the singles while also managing to get a point with Watson despite his troubles. 6

Jordan Spieth
P: 5 W: 3 L: 2 H: 0. Pts: 3
Could not have done much more in his partnership with Thomas, taking three points from a possible four. Putter went cold against Olesen in a demoralising singles victory. 7

Justin Thomas
P: 5 W: 4 L: 1 H: 0. Pts: 4
The USA’s star performer. Never looked like he was out of a hole, making clutch putts from everywhere. A dogged competitor whose singles battle with McIlroy was an important morale-booster for his side. 8

Brooks Koepka
P: 4 W: 1 L: 2 H: 1. Pts: 1.5
Never lived up to his billing as the player of the year and looked a shadow of the player who won two majors this summer. 5

Bubba Watson
P: 3 W: 1 L: 2 H: 0. Pts: 1
Never looked happy with the tight set-up of Le Golf National and that was reflected in his play. A 5&4 thrashing in the singles summed up his week. 3

Tiger Woods
P: 4: W: 0 L: 4 H: 0. Pts: 0
Came into the event on the back of his first win in five years but that appeared to have taken a physical and emotional toll and he never got close to the form which rejuvenated his career this year. Iron play was not as sharp and he was poor off the tee. 2

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Francesco Molinari leads the way for Europe in our Ryder Cup player ratings

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Europe’s finest golfers, sparked by a record-setting victory for Italy’s Francesco Molinari, recaptured the Ryder Cup on Sunday, denying a dramatic United States fightback to complete an emotional 17.5-10.5 upset victory.

Reigning British Open champion Molinari defeated five-time major winner Phil Mickelson 4 and 2 as Europe took an insurmountable edge over the favoured Americans in the biennial team showdown at Le Golf National.

Here, we rate the 12 players from the winning team.

Paul Casey
Played: 3. W: 1 L: 1 H: 1. Points 1.5

Ten years after his last appearance the Englishman’s selection as a wild card was fully justified. Was brilliant on the first day and took a significant half-point in the singles from the player of the year Brooks Koepka. 7/10

Tommy Fleetwood
P: 5 W: 4 L: 1 H: 0. Pts 4
Partnership with Francesco Molinari was the cornerstone for Europe’s win, winning four points from four matches. Took its toll in the singles and it was a shame he lost that winning record. 9

Sergio Garcia
P: 4 W: 3 L: 1 H: 0. Pts 3
Marshalled rookie Alex Noren superbly in their opening match in Friday’s foursomes and led from the front in Saturday’s fourballs. Was ahead from the first hole in singles and his history-making point was a deserved reward for a Ryder Cup giant. 8

Tyrrell Hatton
P: 3 W: 1: L: 2 H: 0. Pts 1
Baptism of fire against United States’ top pair of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth on Friday morning but did not disgrace himself. Reunited with Casey to win on Saturday morning but did not play his best golf. 6

Rory McIlroy
P: 5 W: 2 L: 3 H: 0. Pts 2
Struggled with his game, particularly putting, and was out of sorts on Friday morning but bounced back in the afternoon and performed well with Garcia in Saturday’s fourballs. However, he looked spent after lunch and despite keeping a bogey off his card for 17 holes of singles golf messed up the last.6

Francesco Molinari
P: 5: W: 5 L: 0 H: 0. Pts 5
The Open champion backed up his recently-acquired major status with a majestic performance. His trademark consistency, with the occasional flash of brilliance, saw him become the first European to win all five points. and he was superb with Fleetwood. 10

Alex Noren
P: 3 W: 2 L: 1. H: 0. Pts 2
The quiet man of the team was almost forgotten in the wild celebrations following confirmation of Europe’s win, but long after the result was decided he showed his professionalism by holing a superb pressure putt on the last for a satisfying singles point. 7

Thorbjorn Olesen
P: 2. W: 1 L: 1 H: 0. Pts 1
Forgotten man of the team, was benched for three sessions after Friday fourballs defeat alongside McIlroy. However, showed up on Sunday with the most stunning win of the week, dispatching Spieth 5&4. 7

Ian Poulter
P: 4: W: 2 L: 2 H: 0. Pts 2
Not the influential contribution of the past but saw off world number one Dustin Johnson with three birdies in his last five holes. 7

Jon Rahm
P3: W: 1 L: 2 H: 0. Pts 1
The rookie struggled over the first two days but his point in the singles after holding off Tiger Woods, having never been behind in the match, was psychologically important at a time when USA’s challenge was gaining momentum. 7

Justin Rose
P: 4: W: 2: L: 2 H: 0. Pts 2
His reunion with Henrik Stenson in foursomes was a successful but he just could not get going on Sunday and suffered a disappointing defeat to Webb Simpson. 7

Henrik Stenson
P: 3 W: 3 L: 0 H: 0. Pts 3
Unerring consistency from the Swede, a captain’s pick for his experience, who dovetailed brilliantly again with Rose. Demolished Bubba Watson 5&4 in a ruthless singles performance. 9

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