Thomas Bjorn predicts big futures for Europe's victorious Ryder Cup stars

Carl Markham 10:12 01/10/2018
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Europe captain Thomas Bjorn predicted a number of his victorious Ryder Cup stars were on their way to the very top of the game.

Five of the team are already major winners: Rory McIlroy, a four-time champion, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and this summer’s Open champion Francesco Molinari, who impressed everyone by becoming the first European player to win all five points in a Ryder Cup.

And Tommy Fleetwood, who equalled the best performance by a European rookie with four points, has established himself as a major contender as world number 12.

“They are quality golfers. They are putting their stamp on the world scene and there are a couple on this team that are right on the way to the top of the game over the next few years,” said Bjorn after a convincing 17.5-10.5 victory over the United States at Le Golf National.

“And they will be massive parts of these European teams in the future.

“It’s a great group. It’s a group that believes in themselves and what they stand for and they carry the torch on for what the European Ryder Cup team is all about.

Fleetwood shone on his Ryder Cup bow.

Fleetwood shone on his Ryder Cup bow.

“They understand the history and that’s what will do them great going forward.”

The USA brought arguably the strongest team to play in the event, with six of the world’s top 10 and only Phil Mickelson, at 25, outside of the top 17.

They arrived as hot favourites, but, after taking a 3-1 lead on Friday morning, they never stopped the bleeding following a 4-0 trouncing in the afternoon fourballs.

Bjorn revealed he and his players paid no attention to the individual talents facing them.

“We got it right this week. We worked as a team. We knew we were up against very strong opponents, but we went out on the golf course and believed in ourselves,” he added.

“We never looked towards their team about what they were about. We were about us as a team and what we do.”

USA captain Jim Furyk admitted he should have done some things differently as the inquest began into their defeat.

Questions were raised over his selection of pairings, splitting up their most successful partnership over the last two events of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.

While Spieth won three out of four with Justin Thomas, Reed was dreadful with Tiger Woods, while a clearly out-of-form Mickelson played so badly in the Friday foursomes that he was benched for Saturday.

Ryder Cup Team USA Captain's Picks Press Conference

“I know everyone wishes they had played better and I wish I probably would have done some things differently as well,” said Furyk.

“But at the end of the day we did the best we could and we all worked hard.

“It was totally my decision and my call (on the pairings) and I think I had a few of you tell me that it was a gutsy play, but I thought it was the right thing to do. It was my call.

“We’re going to get second-guessed and we’re going to get questioned. I realise as a leader of this team and as a captain the brunt of it is going to be on my plate and I accepted that when I took this role.

“But hats off to what they (Europe) accomplished. Thomas was a better captain and their team out-played us and there’s nothing else more you can say. They deserved to win. They played well.”

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