Ryder Cup: Why Europe beat the divided Americans

Proud: European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn with the Ryder Cup.
Proud: European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn with the Ryder Cup.
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Europe’s captain Thomas Bjorn is adamant it was his team’s impressive performance – and not the divisions that have since emerged among the Americans – that was the key to their success in winning the Ryder Cup.

Bjorn oversaw a 17.5-10.5 victory in Paris, since when Patrick Reed has been critical of Jordan Spieth and US captain Jim Furyk and there have been reports of a fall-out between Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.

The US team featuring 11 of the world’s top 17 players had been the favourites to win in Europe for the first time in 25 years, but even amid the dysfunction they have gradually demonstrated they were confronted by a team that excelled.

Forty-seven-year-old Bjorn has praised the team spirit among his players, and he said: “Sometimes you’ve got to go with one team played better than another; somebody’s going to win and somebody’s going to lose.

“This time it was our turn. I don’t want to put too much on if anything went wrong in their team room. I don’t believe in that.

“Obviously when you lose sometimes it can be hard and difficult to deal with, when you have expectations of yourself.

“From what I saw from the outside I thought Jim (Furyk) did a good job.

“It just didn’t work out for them this way, but I would like to put it down to our 12 players just playing really, really well.”

Europe’s seventh success from the past nine Ryder Cups came amid home advantage, which switches to the US in two years at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

There had also been some European supporters booing the Americans on the first tee at Le Golf National, but even with the benefits that come through being the hosts, Bjorn believes Europe can retain their trophy.

“Home advantage is great,” he said. “Obviously you get your fans. I don’t think there’s anything that says you can’t win away from home, but it’s tougher away from home, it certainly is.

“It’s easy to think that it’s an easy thing to keep winning Ryder Cups. You’ve got to want it – you’ve got to want it bad – this team wanted it very much. They went out and really worked hard, and from the day they set foot in Paris they wanted it probably a little bit more.

“I don’t think me trying to stop them (fans booing) was going to stop those things, and initially it was there. It’s not something that we particularly want or like, but when you get a big sporting occasion these things happen.

“It’s fans being over-passionate about supporting their own team, but, for me, it happened on the first tee and that was about it.”