The USA regained the Ryder Cup on Sunday, finishing off a convincing exhibition of matchplay golf by speedily wrapping up the three-and-a-half points they needed to clinch victory and going on to win by a record 19-9 margin.
2021 Open champion Collin Morikawa clinched the winning half-point for the hosts at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, halving the match against Viktor Hovland to take Steve Stricker’s team to the 14½ points needed to win back the trophy they last earned at Hazeltine in 2016. The victory is the seventh time in the last eight editions that the Ryder Cup has been won by the home team.
Leading 11-5 going into the 12 singles match-ups, the Americans got the early performances they needed despite Xander Schauffele never recovering after quickly falling two holes behind to a rejuvenated Rory McIlroy in the opening pairing, eventually going down 3&2.
Patrick Cantlay opened up a three-shot lead over Ryder Cup debutant Shane Lowry on the front nine and maintained an advantage throughout in a 4&2 win, while Scottie Scheffler turned in an exemplary display in match three, winning the first four holes against US Open champion Jon Rahm on his way to a 4&3 triumph.
In the following pairing Bryson DeChambeau eagled on the first against Sergio Garcia after reaching the green with his tee shot on the Par 4. He then won the second hole despite finding both a gravel path and the rough, and while the Spaniard gave as good as he got thereafter, the big-hitting American continued to find his way out of tough spots as he came out on top 3&2.
With three wins already in the bag from those opening four matches, it was left to Morikawa to confirm the US triumph. The 24-year-old lost the first two holes to Hovland, but after winning four in succession between the fourth and seventh the American always held at least a share of the spoils thereafter. After a birdie on the 17th he was assured of at least the half that would take the USA to 14½ and he completed the formality despite losing final hole, taking the hosts into an unassailable lead.
Dustin Johnson completed a flawless five-for-five weekend by beating Paul Casey 1 up, Brooks Koepka beat Bernd Wiesberger 2&1 and Justin Thomas hammered Tyrrell Hatton 4&3, while for Europe there was some respite as Ian Poulter overcame Tony Finau 3&2 and Lee Westwood edged Harris English 1 up.
The half between Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood meant that a Daniel Berger win over Matt Fitzpatrick would see the USA beat the previous 18½-9½ record victory in 28-match history, and the 28-year-old's 1-up success ensured the biggest Ryder Cup win since the USA's 23½ -8½ success back in 1967.
"You know, I've never won a major, but this is my major right here," said an emotional captain Steve Stricker after the comprehensive victory before lifting the Ryder Cup aloft in front of a partisan home crowd.