There was lots of glory and pride demonstrated by both Team USA and Team Europe at the Ryder Cup last week. Captain Steve Stricker and his vice-captains Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Zach Johnson and Fred Couples were great leaders and mentors for this younger group of professional golfers representing the USA.
Even though the team was built with younger players, there was certainly lots of talent and experience in winning since they were junior golfers. This team really seemed to bond and create lots of synergy as the week progressed.
Leading up to the opening ceremonies, every player knew they had a job to do and they were focused on being their best in every match. Captain Stricker did a great job in preparing them and giving them opportunities to win matches from Day 1.
The fans were so excited after waiting an extra year due to the pandemic. Team USA dominated the foursomes portion, three of their victories never made it to Hole 18 last Friday.
The only team victory that Europe had that morning was when the two Spaniards — John Rahm and Sergio Garcia — captured a point after closing out a great match with Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
The afternoon had closer contests and two matches did go all the way to Hole 18. Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler lead the way against Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton and this ended in a tie where both teams earned a half-point. The last match of the day also ended in a tie with Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas against Viktor Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood. The results from Day 1 were 6-2 with the USA leading the way. You could see it in all of the player’s eyes, they were intense and ready to do battle throughout the weekend.
Day 2, Saturday started out with foursome matches in the morning and the four-ball matches would pave the way for an exciting afternoon. The pairings were obviously well thought out and strategically decided upon by both captains based on who would play well together and achieve results. Whistling Straights is a rugged course and it demands lots of confidence as the best players in the world navigated around this Pete Dye masterpiece.
The United States did not let up and they seemed to have a relaxed intensity from the moment they arrived at the first tee box. Starting the day with a 6-2 lead over Europe, that was just enough to remind the opponents that they had some work to do to keep the Ryder Cup Trophy in their sight.
The United States increased its lead 11-5. Europe’s Hatton/Shane Lowry defeated Harris English/Tony Finau by just 1 point. Europe dominated the match and that kept their hopes alive that they could come back strong.
The strong team of Rahm/Garcia continued to win their third match in two days. Brooks Koepka/Spieth never had an opportunity to take the lead and that made for a long and challenging match. Spieth had several opportunities, but he missed key putts inside 10 feet. Rahm was showing the golf world why he is currently the No. 1 player in the world. When Rahm made back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th holes, that extended the Europeans lead to 2 up with two holes to play.
There was a chance that maybe Team USA would lose some ground but leave it to DeChambeau/Scheffler to finish their match strong and close it out with a birdie by DeChambeau on the 17th hole. That was an exciting match and it was an indicator that the USA was on the move once again!
Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa defeated Ian Poulter/Rory McIlroy. Johnson was 4-0 and Morikawa 3-0; what a great team that contributed many points, they were a big part of Saturday and throughout their Ryder Cup matches. This was a disappointing day for McIlroy and you could see the frustration on his face; he was disappointed.
There were lots of great matches on Saturday and after all was said and done, Team USA had some momentum going into Sunday by expanding their lead to a 6 point spread.
On Sunday, Day 3 the United States team continued to win matches and all they needed was 3 and a half more points to win the Ryder Cup. The singles matches were dominated by Team USA, they won 7 matches and tied 2; with Europe only winning 3 matches out of the 12. Team USA did have a goal after Saturday to get to 20 points. The USA defeated Europe 19-9. The Americans won back the cup, demonstrating how talented these young American professional golfers and laying the foundation for great years ahead.
Let’s take a look at what is happening locally here in the valley:
Lake Kezar Country Club, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: The first Annual RSVP Tournament was this week and it was another beautiful day at Lake Kezar Country Club. It seems like the sun always shines in Lovell, Maine.
This Saturday is the Friends of Conway Rec Scramble. Starting at 9 a.m. to a shotgun start, there are still spots open, come out and support this organization that does so much for the youth.
Sunday is the Cross Country Scramble. There are still tee times available for this event. This is a tee-time tournament, nine holes played using the entire course. Cash prizes for this event. Call to sign up.
Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: Going into the last week of Fall Don Ho action, there are a few teams that still have to make up rounds that were rained out.
Currently, the Par Tee team sits in first place at -22 followed by the Chislas at -16 and the Jocular Jewelers at -15. Last week, Cowboy won closest-to-the-pin honors… can we get a Yippie-Ki-Yay! Brian Bailey won the long drive honors.
Congrats go out to new golfer Leslie Peabody who made a deuce on the par-four ninth hole last week. It’s always great on a hole when you don’t have to get your putter out of the bag!
Wentworth Golf Club, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: the Cross-Country Tournament, which was rescheduled to Sunday, Oct. 24. Anyone interested in bringing a team please call the pro shop.
North Conway Country Club, Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-5244: The NCCC President’s Cup is scheduled for Oct. 2-3.
Indian Mound Golf Course, Center Ossipee, (603) 539-7733: Golfers, hole and cart sponsors are needed for the 13th annual Kennett Hockey Golf Tournament, which is scheduled for Oct. 10. This is a four-person, best-ball, scramble. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/57979dte.
Omni Mount Washington, Bretton Woods, (603) 278-4653: The Mount Washington Resort Golf Club offers a variety of lessons and workshops to help golfers of all levels of ability improve their game. All clinic schedules are subject to change due to weather or other factors. Please contact the Pro Shop to book your lesson or for the latest details at (603) 278-GOLF (4653). Please check in at the Pro Shop at least 10 minutes before the start of the lesson.
“The next shot is a new experience. It might be the best shot you ever hit in your life.” – Harvey Penick